NOVATERRA stands for ‘Integrated Novel Strategies for Reducing the Use and Impact of Pesticides, Towards Sustainable Mediterranean Vineyards and Olive Groves’. NOVATERRA received a total of €4,884,346.35 in funding as a part of a Horizon 2020 grant from the European Commission for the duration of the project.
Over the course of the next 4 years, the project will develop and test a pool of novel, integrated and sustainable strategies to eliminate or significantly reduce the use and negative impacts of contentious Plant Protection Products (also known as pesticides). To meet this goal, the project will complete a series of case studies in Mediterranean olive groves and vineyards. The project will also liaise with a variety of stakeholders through the Stakeholders Network, which will involve not only farmers but also other relevant agents such policymakers, experts, associations of olive oil and wine producers, auxiliary industries, and citizens. The stakeholders shall participate in the initial diagnosis, participate in focus group meetings and workshops and other exploitation activities and provide specific consulting advice.
NOVATERRA’s new efficient strategies will be derived from the integration of three key approaches:
- the use of alternative and natural protection products (biopesticides, biocontrol and innovative adjuvants and formulations);
- the use of a smart farming platform for a more precise application of the protection products;
- the testing of new soil management, functional biodiversity strategies and weed management robotics for a greater crop health with less chemicals.
Breakdown of the Project Work
Our project work is divided into the following 7 work packages.
Work Package 1
WP1 is established as a starting point for the project, in order to review and update initial considerations from a technical, legal, social, and ethical view, and that could influence the scientific-technical decisions in the rest of the project definition, and its subsequent exploitation. The main objectives will be:
1. To establish an initial assessment on the use and impact of pesticides in target crop and update on EU legislation trends
2. To establish the “Stakeholder Advisory Committee” to boost its direct participation on the initial diagnosis monitoring on current and future legal requirements.
3. A diagnosis on farmer-consumer needs and acceptance of technological use.
4. To establish the “Social Sciences, Humanities and Ethics Committee”, with the objective of reviewing and reanalysing the ethical implications of the Project, and the possible impacts to be monitored at the social level.
Work Package 2
WP2 aims to develop new biological tools and natural products that will be integrated in programs to build up new efficient control strategies in vine and olive farms. The new technologies include botanical extracts, natural compounds, resistance inducers, biocontrol agents, semio-chemicals, entomopathogen fungi, ozone and nanoparticle formulations. The insect pathogens covered represent the main threats in both crops: powdery and downy mildew, botrytis, olive moth, grape berry moth, grapevine moth and olive fruit fly.
Work Package 3
Work Package 4
Soil management techniques and the use of chemical inputs (fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers) have been widely investigated for their multiple effects on crop growth and yield, as well as on soil health and biodiversity (of plants, microbes, and animals), which in turn affect the crop performance and its health status both directly and indirectly.
WP4 of NOVATERRA will study new alternatives for soil management to reduce the input of chemicals and the consequent negative effects on soil health and on overall biodiversity, while maintaining crop profitability.
Work Package 5
The objective of WP5 is to provide tools for final users to implement the innovative solutions developed in NOVATERRA: IPM updated guides for both olive and vineyards, using sustainable solutions that are economic, environmental, and socially acceptable. We will also develop further DSS which will include not only management aspects, but also web-based tools for impact evaluation and reports on consumers’ willingness to pay for wine and oil produced with these improved tools.
Work Package 6
WP6 aims to pave the way for a smooth exploitation of the results achieved during the project. Market, productive and economic feasibility study will be carried out in order to define the result protection means and the most suitable exploitation strategy, resulting in a clear exploitation plan for each partner and result produced. The WP will also deal with the aspects of data management for all data produced in NOVATERRA, according to the framework of the Open Research Data Pilot in Horizon 2020.
Work Package 7
The European Business Summits Research Hub is the lead for the Communications Work package for the NOVATERRA project. The EBSRH runs the website and is responsible for press releases and newsletters as well as general dissemination. The EBSRH assists in the other communications activities such as social media or workshop organisation. As a lead partner we are also part of the general project organisational team and will be involved in almost all project activities.
Work Package 8
This WP aims to implement an effective management organisation in order to ensure optimal performance of the project: achieving all the technical objectives, the correct reporting to EC and the communication, dissemination and transfer to stakeholders, users and society.
Work Package 9
Protocols on how to meet and guarantee the ethical performance of the project, specifically those regarding to animal welfare, genetic resources protection, environmental protection and safety, human recruitment and data protection, and protection of personal data.
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