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Country: Belgium
101 Projects, page 1 of 21
  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101025683
    Overall Budget: 178,320 EURFunder Contribution: 178,320 EUR
    Partners: EV ILVO

    Dairy industry is one of the largest food manufacturing sectors of Europe. Stainless steel is extensively used throughout the milk processing chain and is subjected to fouling leading to biofilm formation. Biofilms in the dairy industry pose a serious threat to the quality and safety of food products. Most studies on bacterial biofilms of the food industry have focused on single or dual species biofilms, negating the role of multispecies bacterial interaction, which is now considered to be a fundamental approach in studying biofilm community structure, spatial organization and factors underlying the biofilm formation on surfaces. Results of a recent project show that the food contact surfaces in the dairy industry in Belgium are contaminated with many different bacterial species, including several spoilers and spore-forming bacteria, which remain largely unaffected even after cleaning-in-place (CIP). Biofilm forming capacity of many of these species and their interaction, particularly the interaction between sporeformers and other non spore-forming bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas and Staphylococcus will be investigated. The objective is to model multispecies biofilms in different species combinations and monitor their behaviour and influence on each other from initial adherence to biofilm formation on a steel surface under conditions simulating real manufacturing operations. We plan to study the influence of simulated cleaning and disinfection techniques on the integrity of single and multispecies biofilms on stainless steel in a bioreactor based biofilm model. This project is multidisciplinary involving meta-transcriptomics, confocal laser scanning microscopy and a biosensor. This proposal includes a strong linkage opportunity between the host and two secondment partners. Successful completion of this project will lead to more fundamental understanding of the formation of biofilms in food industrial practice.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101075944
    Overall Budget: 1,498,810 EURFunder Contribution: 1,498,810 EUR
    Partners: EV ILVO, Ghent University

    Plastics are found in nearly every environment and disrupt key ecosystem services. While the effect of plastic in marine and freshwater ecosystems has been studied extensively, effects of plastic on soil ecosystem functions such as plant growth, microbial biomass and water permeability have been mostly overlooked, particularly for the smallest particles, the microplastics (MPs; ≤ 5 mm). The lack of appropriate techniques and methodologies for sampling, extraction and detection hamper the research concerning MP distribution in soil ecosystems. This research gap has led to fragmentary knowledge and even contradictory results in MP studies on soil ecosystems, as different concentrations, sizes, shapes and MP polymer types were considered. Therefore fundamental insights in the role of MPs on soil and plant health are missing. We will advance the field by working in a three step approach to mechanistically define how MP pollution outbalances the soil (and plant) ecosystem. First, the risk of MP pollution in soil will be assessed by correlating MP concentrations of 240 soils with soil health indicators. To measure the MP concentration, a fast, cost-effective and standardized method to detect, identify and quantify MPs (≥ 1 µm) in soils will be developed. Second, these correlations between MPs and the soil health indicators will be validated and tested in greenhouse experiments, to understand the biological underpinnings that drive these correlations. MP induced changes in plant growth, plant disease susceptibility, soil texture, soil chemical composition and the microbial community will be studied. Third, to reduce the risk (introduction and accumulation) of MPs in soil ecosystems, we will actively search for biodegrading organisms making use of a novel sequencing approach. With this multidisciplinary approach, we will be able to mechanistically define the effects of MPs on soil and plant health and advance the field by identifying plastic-biodegrading microorganisms.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 872602
    Overall Budget: 1,163,800 EURFunder Contribution: 1,071,800 EUR
    Partners: EV ILVO, UB, University of Reading, Universität Innsbruck, CSIC, A N S.COOP.

    The expansion of world population requires the development of new strategies and tools for agriculture to ensure that high levels of production will accommodate the needs of world population by developing a highly productive and resource efficient agricultural systems. To that end, it is necessary to provide current breeding programs with improved methodologies (traits and protocols) for phenotyping together with a deeper knowledge of the molecular and metabolic mechanisms that modulate plant response to abiotic constraints in terms of yield and quality. Therefore, the development of new technological approaches, such as multispectral sensors and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is critical to deliver new tools for efficient breeding programs and in field management of crops. The current project has five main objectives: 1st objective is to investigate how will crop (wheat, rice, soybean, maize and quinoa) production and quality will be affected by the environment. 2nd objective is to identify the best adapted cultivars and molecular markers conferring a better grain yield and quality. 3rd objective is to investigate what phenotyping and molecular traits can better inform on crop yield and resource (water, nutrients, radiation) use efficiency. 4th objective is to develop the use of different remote sensing at field and labs levels as strategic tools to determine yield value. 5th objective will be the development of models. The result will be to build on the strong existing research network of 5 EU academic, 5 non-EU academic institutions and 2 firms. The project pursues the main objective of generating a common solid knowledge basis arising from the fruitful cross-sectorial synergy between forefront research Centers in precision agriculture and industry, in a cross-fertilization multidisciplinary approach that will provide new tests and methodologies (or improve existing ones) to assess. In this proposal, funding is requested for all TC partners.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 765389
    Overall Budget: 3,878,510 EURFunder Contribution: 3,878,510 EUR
    Partners: University of Groningen, MINISTERIE VAN INFRASTRUCTUUR EN WATERSTAAT, EV ILVO, LMU MUENCHEN, Coventry University, BOKU, Luke

    RECOMS will train 15 ESRs in transdisciplinary approaches to support resourceful and resilient community environmental practice, tackling societal challenges (e.g. food, energy and climate change), nurturing the potential of stakeholders and vulnerable groupings to create adaptive and transformative sustainability pathways. RECOMS will increase the mobility of ESRs, enhance their Scientific, Professional, Personal and Transferable Skills and impact on their career prospects as researchers, policy makers, facilitators, consultants, change agents, social innovators and environmental educators. The consortium of 7 beneficiaries and 4 partners comprised of public, private and non-profit organisations allows a comparative approach to studying community resourcefulness across a range of (trans) national settings in 6 EU countries. Fundamental is the coupled social-ecological and critical lens to evolutionary resilience thinking, as complex, dynamic and process based, denoting the capacity of a system to change. RECOMS raises capacities to implement practice-based solutions via 15 research projects, divided along 3 interconnected themes: Unlocking and Empowering; Adapting and Transforming; Collaborating and Connecting. RECOMS addresses EU goals of sustainable and inclusive growth and territorial resource-based development, enhancing social cohesion and social innovation. The joint training organised in training events includes integrated action-based learning, collaborative community practice, and experimenting with an assemblage of visual and creative interactive communication techniques. The joint training is complemented by online reflective learning portfolios, local training at hosting institutes, the job-training via secondments and the support of Specialist Practitioner Advisors. RECOMS will impact on varied target groups including communities and policy-makers, and share its outcomes with non-participants via a range of communication and dissemination activities.