SusCrop is a Horizon 2020 Cofund ERA-Net project that aims to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in the area of sustainability and resilience of crop production through improved collaboration and coordination of different national and regional research programs. To this end, SusCrop brings together owners and managers of national and regional R&D&I programs from EU Member States, EU-associated countries and third countries with extensive experience in research funding and coordination.
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is food and nutrition security for a growing population in times of climate change and increasing pressure on natural resources. Modern crop production must incorporate diverse aspects to increase productivity and/or improve crop quality, such as efficient use of resources or limiting negative impacts on the environment. To make this possible, research on sustainable crop production is of great importance.
To this end, SusCrop conducts joint EU co-funded calls for research projects on the following four main topics as part of the coordination of national and regional research programs:
- Improvement of breeding technologies and development of new genotypes leading to new phenotypes and plant varieties.
- Development and use of novel integrated pest management methods and practices
- Improving the resource efficiency of crops and cropping systems
- Systemic research on agricultural crops as part of an ecosystem ("plant as meta-organism").
In addition, various accompanying measures are being worked on such as the development of methods for assessing the sustainability of crop production systems using ICT-based knowledge technologies and the harmonization of assessment criteria and existing databases for this purpose. In addition, a strategic roadmap for sustainable crop production research for the future will be developed, taking into account the research strategy of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change(FACCE-JPI), among others.
A total of 33 research projects were selected and approved under the four SusCrop calls (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022) for research project submission. The projects were presented and discussed at several project events, depending on their progress, and related technical workshops (5) were held. In the context of the research projects, more than 200 scientific publications were produced (mostly "open access") and about 170 presentations were given. We were involved in the ERA-NET project with other project partners, in particular for the processing and report preparation on "Mapping, gap analysis and prioritization of research in the field of sustainable crop production" and in the preparation of recommendations for "Future Research Needs in Sustainable Crop Production".
The number of selected research projects covering the whole range of topics of the calls as well as the number of funding bodies show the great interest of the European and regional project partners in joint transnationally coordinated research.
Benefit of the project
The research results of the projects funded under the SusCrop calls create new knowledge on sustainable crop production in terms of crop diversity and resilience, efficient resource use, nutrient recycling, ecosystem services, limiting negative environmental impacts, integrated pest management, waste reduction and reuse as part of the food value chain, and circular farming. All aspects of sustainability including environmental, economic, social and cultural are covered.
Project acronym: SusCrop
Project management: Research Center Juelich GmbH
Project management AGES: Univ.Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Sylvia Blümel
Project partners: 34 partners from 19 different countries are participating in the SusCrop project. More information about the individual project partners can be found on the project website.
Funding: EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
Project duration: 01/2018 to 06/2023
Last updated: 11.09.2023