European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources
The European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR) is a collaborative programme among most European countries aimed at contributing to rationally and effectively conserve ex situ and in situ plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, provide access and increase their sustainable use.
The Programme, which is entirely financed by the member countries, is overseen by a Steering Committee composed of National Coordinators nominated by the participating countries. The Coordinating Secretariat is hosted by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.
The Programme operates through Working Groups composed of pools of experts nominated by the National Coordinators. The ECPGR Working Groups deal with either crops or general themes related to plant genetic resources (documentation and information, in situ and on-farm conservation, and cryopreservation).
ECPGR is responsible for three crucial initiatives on European plant genetic resources: the European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources (EURISCO), the European Genebank Integrated System (AEGIS) and the European Evaluation Network (EVA) for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
In 2021, ECPGR published the Plant Genetic Resources Strategy for Europe after three years of consultations with a wide range of experts and stakeholders. The Strategy provides a road map to addressing the urgent challenges facing plant genetic resources and to enabling the transition to a fully functional and efficient European system of plant genetic resources conservation and sustainable use.
Role in PRO-GRACE
Based on its 40-years’ experience in coordinating the European network for plant genetic resources, ECPGR is leading WP5 (Research Infrastructure concept, social and regulatory aspects, governance and financial plan), which will define what the proposed Research Infrastructure (RI) will look like by providing a technical analysis of the current RI ecosystem to avoid overlaps and duplications, by identifying its main stakeholders, promoters and users, and establishing its services, structure, governance and financial plan.
ECPGR will also participate in WP1 (Plant genetic resources inventory and information systems), WP2 (Quality-certified ex situ and in situ management), WP4 (Plant genetic resources evaluation and valorization) and WP6 (Communication, dissemination, exploitation and training).
In particular, ECPGR will be responsible for deliverables D5.2 (Identification of the scientific services, stakeholders, promoters, and utilizers of the proposed RI), D 6.1 (Project public website) and will also be a member of the Dissemination and Communications Committee.
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