10 partners from 6 Mediterranean countries

Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) is a non-profit Research Institute, a legal entity of the public sector, supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food (MRDF).

Under the almost 80 years of its operation, the Institute has established multidisciplinary expertise and activities in the areas of entomology, plant pathology and weed science in relation to plant health (quarantine organisms) and crop protection as well as pesticides chemistry/toxicology/environmental fate as regards effective and safe use of pesticides for human health and the environment.

BPI conducts fundamental/applied research in the aforementioned fields and participates in several EU funded, Bilateral and National research projects. The core activities of the Institute are to diagnose problems in agriculture, acquire knowledge, and provide diagnostic services, information, training and technical consultancy to MRDF, agronomists, farmers and stakeholders for the prevention and control of plant diseases/pests/weeds in alignment with the key EU Directives on plant health and sustainable agriculture. BPI has the unique advantage of occupying scientists of an extended variety of specialisation. Its staff participates in expert groups of EU and international Organisations and National Mandated Bodies on topics relevant to plant health, crop protection and safety. Furthermore, BPI is the designated Natural Authority for the coordination of the Surveys for plant health and phytosanitary control. It is authorized to conduct the evaluation of plant protection products and biocides for registration purposes. Finally, BPI has the National Reference Laboratory for pesticide residue monitoring in agricultural products.

Stayia Farm is a small family farm located in Evia, producing organic products. Although relatively recently established (2012), SF carries the expertise and tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation since the early 1950’s.

The younger generation is now represented by two young people, Yannis Karypidis and Stavroula Theodorou, who went ahead and invested in innovation and an outreach profile. Today, their products are on the shelves of every prestigious delicatessen. The goal of the SF team is to produce select, wholesome organic products. The SF team is made up by savvy beekeepers whose premium raw honeys have highly distinctive flavor profiles that are bound to please even the most demanding foodie. Every single SF product is certified by the Bio Hellas inspection and certification body for organic products.

The INRAA is a research centre of the agriculture sector created in 1966; benefiting from the “Scientific and Technical Public Establishment” status (EPST) set by Executive Decree No. 99-256.

INRAA’s Research activities, are anchored to six national priorities; Agriculture-Alimentation, biotechnology, water resources management, development of arid, semi-arid areas and desertification. Agriculture-Alimentation priority is covered extensively, focusing on priority products like cereals, legumes, Solanaceae (tomatoes, potatoes), milk and its derivatives, as well as white and red meats. In addition, research in the field of food industries is promoting agricultural value chains that generate high added-value such as date palm, olive oil and supports agricultural and food by-products valorisation. INRAA has developed strategic activities at the continental and regional (MENA) level with international institutions such as IAEA, ICARDA, FAO, European Union and African Union. More than 40 international projects were completed by INRAA since 2007 plus 10 bilateral and regional partnership agreements.

The M' Hamed BOUGARA University of Boumerdès (UMBB) has five faculties and an Institute. Our research laboratory called “Valorization and Conservation of Biological Resources” (VALCORE) belongs to the Faculty of Science.

VALCORE was created in 2010 and its main mission is to enhance and conserve the local biological resources of Algeria. Five research teams make up this laboratory. These teams are: 1) Exploration and Exploitation of Useful Local Microflora, 2) Medicinal Plants & Biological Control, 3) Microbial Biodiversity & Biotechnology of Salt Aquatic Ecosystems and Oil, 4) Protection & valorization of local honey bees and 5) Biotechnology & development of biopesticides. VALCORE is composed of 22 researchers and 28 PhD students. Some of the research projects conducted in our laboratory are: Use of biological agents in biological control of Culex pipiens and vascular diseases of plants; Valorization of plant bioactive substances in biological control and health; Study of the multiphase consortia characterization of microorganisms biodegradation of hydrocarbons under aerobic and anaerobic conditions: application in bioremediation and depollution in offshore; Factors influencing production of good quality queen bees.

The Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) is the major engine of agricultural development in Egypt.

Since its inception in 1971, it has been mandated to design and implement agricultural research programs within the framework of Egypt's strategy for economic and social development. The ARC is a semi-autonomous, state-owned research institution governed by a Board of Directors and chaired by the MALR. It embodies 16 services of the Central Administration, 16 research institutes, 8 central laboratories, 10 regional stations, 46 specific research stations, and 23 research administrations throughout Egypt’s governorates and employs more than 9,000 researchers and scientists. ARC conducts mainly applied research to serve the Egyptian Economy, society welfare and prosperity of the Egyptian people. Within the national agricultural strategies ARC assumes the following major functions: Developing appropriate agriculture technology needed to ensure the continuous development of agricultural production; Producing new varieties of various field and horticultural crops as well as new breeds of livestock, which affect agricultural production positively; Planning and implementing research, extension and training programs based on the principle of integrated research and extension services in all aspects of agricultural activities to affect sustainable upgrading of Egyptian agriculture; Optimizing use of agricultural natural resources, reducing production cost, increasing competitiveness of Egyptian agricultural productions by finding practical solutions to agricultural production constraints, protecting environment and achieving sustainability of Egyptian agricultural development; Transfer of new technologies to the farming community through extension services, and monitor their adoption by the end users. ARC has recently oriented its research programs more towards achieving productivity gains in view of the already limited land and water resources. New varieties of shorter-duration have been developed and released; new animal breeds were produced to maximize productivity. Soil amelioration and rationalized use of agro-chemicals is a major focus area of the ARC. Our scientists also participate in product standard-setting to enhance Egypt's competitiveness in the world markets.

North South Consultants Exchange Group (NSCE) has been registered as a consultancy firm since 1988 and was awarded ISO certificate “ISO 9001:2015” as compliance to the high level of consultancy service of improving the quality of life and economic welfare of people and communities throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Its creative efforts centers on providing a range of professional services to help governmental and international agencies succeed in achieving their public policy and developmental objectives. NSCE has more than 30 years of experience in the development fields with much focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, strategy development, finance and microfinance, environment, credit, bank, organizational structure & business plan, governance, poverty reduction, labor market assessment, employment and economics activities, entrepreneurship development, income generating activities and job creation, human resource capacity building, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), microfinance, IT system assessment and improve, agribusiness, rural development, TVET, water sector policy and institutional reforms, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), natural resources management, and sanitation. NSCE is playing a catalytic role in developing and strengthening local community structured and also providing real opportunities for economic growth.

UJI is the public university in the north of the Autonomous Community of Valencia (Eastern Spain).

It was created in 1991 and hosts around 14,000 students. UJI has been involved in 38 European research actions, which correspond to 28 projects of the 7FP (between 2007 and 2013), and the remaining to the H2020 Program. The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of UJI’s Higher School of Technology and Experimental Sciences (ESTCE) was founded in 2007. It has 17 senior scientists, 7 postdoctoral researchers, 9 PhD students and 3 technicians. The Department is engaged in teaching and research in a wide range of topics mostly in plant sciences/agriculture.The Department regularly collaborates with other groups at UJI, as well as other universities and research organisms in Spain and abroad, which increases the interdisciplinary nature of the research topics covered. The UJI Research Group on Integrated Pest Management is focused on the study of insect and mite species of agricultural interest and on developing more sustainable and friendly management techniques and programs for the crops where these species occur. A wide range of advanced equipment is available at the Department or in campus (Central Scientific Instrumentation Services). A variety of plant growth facilities including growth chambers, greenhouses, net-houses and experimental fields are available in campus or at nearby facilities of the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA), another public research institute which UJI is associated with.

INRA is Europe’s top agricultural research institute and the world’s number two center for the agricultural sciences. Its scientists are working towards solutions for society’s major challenges.

Within INRA, the “Bees and Environment” research unit develops a wide range of research programs that are targeted to the study of honeybee and wild bee populations, in the context of sustainable farming and food security. The activity of the unit is organised around understanding the factors that are responsible for the worldwide decline in bee populations, and the impact of this decline on biodiversity, and crop production. The 3 main axes of our work are: Biology and health preservation, Environmental toxicology and Pollination and ecology. Multidisciplinary research is conducted and focuses on different levels of understanding, including physiology, behaviour, ecology, pathology and toxicology. The scale of studies range from molecular biology to landscape ecology. The ultimate challenge the unit faces is to understand the biology of bee species in a global and complex environment and to find ways to apply fundamental knowledge at a supra-individual scale. Our projects aim at answering fundamental questions as well as at responding to society demand around socio-economics and agro-environmental challenges.

The Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences of the University of Tuscia (DAFNE) is a lively teaching and research community with an outstanding reputation.

The Department’s academic staff (Professors and Researches) teach and research a wide range of topics, covering agriculture, forest and natural sciences and agro-food biotechnology, they are supported by technical and administrative staff, and rely on cutting-edge laboratories, equipment and infrastructure (see relevant section). In 2017, the quality of research at DAFNE placed the Department on a top list of 120 Italian Departments of Excellence.

CONAPROA is an agricultural cooperative, a National Beekeepers Consortium in Italy.

Lead Company of the Joint Group is VoIAPE with 200 beekeepers members farming more than 11.000 hives. People of CONAPROA believe that bees and beekeeping live in close symbiosis with humans and environment. As research, development and testing of new procedural models become indispensable to maintaining high levels of product quality, cost competitiveness and sustainability of our company, CONAPROA has established a corporate function dedicated to R &D with the task of providing to business units, competitive elements fundamental for the achievement of the company aims. In last five years, CONAPROA team (senior technicians, skilled in hive management, honey production and bee breeding) has established advantageous collaborations with national and international research teams, especially for the characterization of ecotypes of A. m. ligustica and for feasibility studies on development and implementation of HB's performance in different agronomic scenarios.