Why do we need EMPHASIS?
Sustainable intensification of crop production is a major challenge to ensure amount and quality of biomass for nutrition and industry. Designing high yielding crop varieties adapted to contrasting environmental conditions, climate change and management, is a priority. Technological advancements have boosted the characterisation of genomes, without sufficient development in phenotypic characterisation. EMPHASIS addresses an important bottleneck in sustainable and improved crop production in different, current and future, agro-climatic scenarios: how to translate from high-throughput genotypic analysis of crop variants to high-throughput and high-resolution phenotyping in order to identify high-yield crop varieties for defined environmental conditions. To achieve this, EMPHASIS proposes a major upgrade/reorientation of existing European Research Infrastructure by
I) using SYNERGIES,
II) provide ACCESS to with (semi)-controlled conditions for high-resolution phenotyping and high-throughput phenomics, experimental fields with control of rainfall and CO2 highly-equipped with phenotyping devices, a coordinated network of field experiments in distributed sites with lighter but efficient phenotyping close to practical breeding set-ups and modelling platforms to test existing and virtual combinations of alleles in different climates and management practices,
III) harness the INNOVATION by providing new opportunities to European companies and make infrastructures and concepts accessible to academia and industry in Europe.