On 19-21 June 2019 the Kick-off meeting of the H2020 project EXCALIBUR was held. The project, fully titled “Exploiting the multifunctional potential of belowground biodiversity in horticultural farming” is financed by the European Commission and it will be implemented from 1st of June 2019 to 31st of May 2024. The meeting was organised by CREA, who is also the project coordinator, and gathered 16 partners from 11 countries in Europe. The partners got the chance to meet each other, discussed organisational, financial and administrative matters and elaborate a strategy for the implementation of the project. The first day of the meeting was as well open for attendance from stakeholders, and the partners had the chance to welcome farmers, researchers and producers.
The project aims to deepen the knowledge on soil biodiversity dynamics and its synergistic effects with prebiotic and probiotic approaches in horticulture, using a multi-actor approach. In this context, new multifunctional soil microbial inoculants (bio-inocula) and bio-effectors will be tested on three model crops of economic importance (tomato, apple, strawberry) under different experimental and open-field conditions across Europe, and the feed-feedback effect of/on native biodiversity monitored. In order to go beyond the multitude of studies on the links between soil biodiversity and plant health, Excalibur will develop a comprehensive strategy of soil management improving the effectiveness of biocontrol and biofertilization practices in agriculture.
The partners working on the projects are CREA (Consiglio Per La Ricerca In Agricoltura E L’analisi Dell’economia Agraria), INHORT (Instytut Ogrodnictwa), CRPV (C.R.P.V. Centro Ricerche Produzioni Vegetali Societa Cooperativa A Responsabilita Limitata), NHM (Natural History Museum), NIAB-EMR, KIS (Kmetijski Institut Slovenije – Agricultural Institute Of Slovenia), AGROINNOVA-UNITO (Universita Degli Studi Di Torino), NIOO-KNAW (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie Van Wetenschappen – Knaw), UCPH (Kobenhavns Universitet), TUGRAZ (Technische Universitaet Graz), IN PLUS (Inoculumplus Sas), UGR (Universidad De Granada), INTERMAG (Intermag Spolka Z Ograniczona Odpowiedzialnoscia), NSF EC (NSF Euro Consultants), KOB (Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee), FӦKO (Fordergemeinschaft Okologischer Obstbau Ev).
- Project title: Exploiting the multifunctional potential of belowground biodiversity in horticultural farming
- Acronym: EXCALIBUR
- Duration in Months: 60 Months
- Start Date: 1 June 2019
- Overall Budget: € 6 995 107,50
- EU Contribution: € 6 995 107,50
- Coordinated By: Consiglio Per La Ricerca In Agricoltura E L’analisi Dell’economia Agraria (CREA)
- Key Words: Agriculture, Soil biodiversity, Soil management, Plant Health
- Partners: 16