Warsaw Plant Health Initiative
Warsaw Plant Health Cluster (WPHC) is a goal-oriented research unit, based at the Faculty of Horticulture, Biotechnology and Landscape Architecture, of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, grouped into several research teams, dealing with various aspects of the Plant Health domain, with expertise ranging from insect ethology, IPM, plant pathology, genetics, functional genomics, to name a few.
The Project responds to new challenges posed by evolving EU plant health regulations, social demand for healthy fresh produce, and addresses WPHC weaknesses. The project has five major objectives:
- Update research policy and enhancement of internal organisation.
- Filling competence gaps through knowledge exchange and training.
- Upgrading human capacity through hiring researchers.
- Upgrading material capacity through acquiring equipment.
- Enhancement of WPHC visibility, networking and cooperation within ERA.
The Project will be executed in a Partnership with 26 research institutions (24 European partners research, 2 national ones and 2 agro-business entities). To achieve these objectives, the following activities will be undertaken:
- Staff exchange visits (64 out-going & 133 in-coming) plus 72 conference participations (presentations).
- International mini-symposia with 10 workshops will be organised, and proceedings published.
- Experienced researchers will be hired.
- 2 new laboratories will be created (Nano- & micro-encapsulation, Bioinformatics Centre) and 5 laboratories will be upgraded with additional equipment.
- To ensure sustainable WPHC operations beyond the Project lifetime, several (3-7) new collaborative project proposals will be prepared, and submitted with partners to bilateral and international donors, including EC FP-7 mechanism.
- Internal organisation and FH&LA research policy will be modernised and updated.
The project’s coordinating person is Prof. Zbigniew T. Dąbrowski.
To assist the Project Management Team in resolving tactic issues arising in project execution, and to ensure collegiality in the project implementation process, a Project Steering Committee (PSC) is established, comprising the Project Co-ordinator, and the Work Package Leaders.
The PSC meets once a week to review progress in the Project implementation, address arising administrative and research issues and, when necessary, to make collective tactic decisions. Whenever needed, Donor representatives and that of the WULS Management and Administration could be invited to participate in the PSC meetings, otherwise, they would always be welcome to participate as observers, if they so wish. To ensure transparency, the PSC meetings are open to all project participants, who could participate as observers.
Project Steering Committee Members
Work Package 1: Prof. Katarzyna Niemirowicz-Szczyt
Work Package 2: Prof. Zbigniew T. Dąbrowski
Work Package 3: Prof. Marek Gajewski
Work Package 4: Prof. Helena Gawrońska
Work Package 5: Prof. Wojciech Wakuliński
Work Package 6: Prof. Stanisław Karpiński & Dr Marcin Filipecki
In order to facilitate project execution and provide strategic support and advice to the PMT, a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) is assembled, consisting of five experienced international experts, invited from among the Project Partnering Institutions.
The Committee will meet four times, at the beginning of the Project and afterwards annually, to review progress of Project implementation and provide policy and technical guidance as may be required. Representatives of national research institutions and major stakeholders active in the plant health domain, and also WULS Management, relevant local authorities (Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Ministry of Agriculture) and EC Office representing Plant Health domain, will be notified and/or invited to participate in TAC meetings.
The Project is organised into a set of six goal-oriented Work Packages (WP), which constitute the core of the project operations.
The Work Packages, albeit interlinked, are designed as semi-autonomous units, aimed at achieving improvement in a specific, well defined area, such as institutional environment (research policies and organisation), and in five specific thematic research areas.
Work Package 1
Update of research policy and enhancement of internal organisation
Work Package 2
Upgrade of ENTOMOLOGY research teams
Department of Applied Entomology at Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Work Package 3
Upgrade of HORTICULTURE research teams
Department of Vegetable and Medicinal Plants at Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Work Package 4
Upgrade of MICRO-ECOLOGY research teams
Section of Basic Natural Sciences in Horticulture at Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Work Package 5
Upgrade of PATHOLOGY research teams
Department of Plant Pathology at Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Work Package 6
Upgrade of FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS research teams
Department of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology at Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Work Package 7
Work Package 8
Ex-Post Project Evaluation
Experts that have been so far employed in the WULS REGPOT Project:
Work Package 2
Dr Sławomir A. Lux
Work Package 3
Work Package 4
Dr Magdalena Żmuda-Baranowska
Work Package 6
- Dr Marek Koter
International Partners – Universities and Research:
- The Royal Museum for Central Africa, Entomology Section, Belgium Centre for Functional Ecology (BELGIUM)
- University of Coimbra, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Department of Botany, Centre for Functional Ecology (PORTUGAL)
- University of Copenhagen , Department of Biology, (DENMARK)
- University of Essex, School of Biological Sciences (UK)
- Hasselt University, Research Institute: Centre for Environmental Sciences (CMK), Division Environmental Biology (BELGIUM)
- Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), Department of Microbe Plant Interactions – German Research Center for Environmental Health, (GERMANY)
- Cereal Research Non-profit Ltd., Szeged, (HUNGARY)
- Unit SVQV, INRA Colmar, (FRANCE)
- Lithuanian University of Agriculture (LŽŪU), Kaunas, (LITHUANIA)
- University of Leeds, Centre for Plant Sciences (UK)
- University of Lleida, (SPAIN)
- Technische Universität München, Munich Center of Molecular Life Sciences (GERMANY)
- Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Department of Plant Systems Biology (BELGIUM)
- James Hutton Institute (UK)
- The University of Thessaly (GREECE)
- Ghent University, Department Molecular Biotechnology (BELGIUM)
- Wageningen University, Laboratory of Nematology (NETHERLANDS)
- RWTH Aachen University, Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (GERMANY)
- The Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment (IAFE) of Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań
- Department of Vegetable and Herbal Plants at the University of Agriculture in Krakow
- Arysta LifeScience, Poland
- Koppert Polska