1st International Workshop and Training School on the Sustainable Management of Plant Genetic Resources

The PRO-GRACE dissemination, communication and exploitation activities were designed to ensure that all relevant stakeholders and political decision-makers would be thoroughly informed about the objectives of the project, which focuses on active conservation and exploitation of plant genetic resources (PGR). The project is identifying gaps that prevent scientists and other stakeholders from selecting and accessing the appropriate PGR for scientific and breeding purposes, and then working to fill these gaps by laying the foundations for a European Research Infrastructure (RI), the GRACE-RI, dedicated to the conservation, management and study of European PGR. Moreover, the GRACE-RI concept will further elaborate specific actions in the context of the already existing European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) landscape, aiming to complement their activities and thus increase the added value of this new RI. 

The conceptual development of the GRACE-RI, the objectives, the activities and the gaps in the current ESFRI landscape were discussed by international experts and interested stakeholders at the 1st International Workshop and Training School on the Sustainable Management of Plant Genetic Resources at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete, Greece from October 3-6, 2023.

On October 3-4, the Workshop featured talks by PGR managers and research from the public and private sectors on PGR information systems, ex situ and in situ PGR management, PGR access and benefit sharing, technologies and scientific services for PGR management, as well as PGR evaluation and valorization.

Participants also had a chance to hear presentations from representatives of the existing EMPHASIS, DISSCO, ELIXIR, and METROFOOD European Research Infrastructures. They shared valuable insights on the establishment, timing, and process of a European research infrastructure.

One of the highlights of the workshop was an interactive session in which all the participants had the opportunity to discuss their ideas in small groups and offer feedback on aspects important for making the GRACE Research Infrastructure a reality. Participants shared numerous useful points about services for future users (the PGR community and other stakeholders), as well as visions for the structure, finance, and governance of a prospective infrastructure.

Recordings of the Workshop presentations are available here

On October 5-6, the Entry Level Training School addressed to managers of small PGR collections, breeders and other people interested in PGR management and provided basic training on several topics:

  • Introduction to PGRs
  • Guidelines and principles for ex situ and in situ PGR management
  • Basic phytosanitary techniques
  • Informatic tools for accessing/providing information related to PGRs
  • Omics technologies for the management of PGRs.

Recordings of the Training School presentations are available here

Deliverable D6.3 was led by MAICH in collaboration with ENEA, Euroseeds, ECPGR/IPGRIUNITOUOB, UPV, INIAV, CNR, IPK, MPGWORLDVEG,

For more information, download the Deliverable report.