The growing global population, with its increasing demand for energy, water and food, presents a major challenge for our planet. These challenges are complex and exacerbated by climate change. The significance of enhancing agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner is now recognised by politicians, funding agencies, scientists and policy makers as a “grand challenge facing society”.
The origins of EUCARPIA are based in the “challenge led” ethos of plant breeding as a science led, technology platform to increase agricultural productivity. The need for innovation in plant breeding, particularly cereal breeding has never been greater. The purpose of our meeting is to:
- Benchmark Cereal Breeding in Europe. Has Europe lost its competitive position in Plant Breeding?
- What can we learn from progress made in maize and rice breeding that will allow step changes in European plant breeding?
- The revolution in crop genomics has opened up new perspectives and opportunities for plant breeders. What needs to happen to ensure that these opportunities are translated into concrete outcomes that improve agricultural productivity and sustainability?
- Is the dialogue between academia, public and private sector researchers sufficient to meet the global challenges facing our planet?
How do we inspire the next generation of scientific leaders to engage and contribute to future plant breeding endeavours?
Cambridge is where the principles of Mendelian Genetics were rediscovered and the foundation of plant breeding established. As Chair of the Cereals Section of EUCARPIA, it gives me great pleasure to invite you to Cambridge to participate in a thought provoking congress that will challenge the status quo, evoke debate and discussion in a friendly and conducive environment. On behalf of the Local Organising Committee I look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge.
Wayne Powell, Head of the Cereals Section.
Local organising committee: Prof Wayne Powell, Dr Tina Barsby, Prof John Snape, Prof Andy Greenland, Prof Robbie Waugh, Prof Peter Shewry, Dr Zoltán Bedõ - President of Eucarpia.
With thanks to our sponsors:
The R J Harrison Trust is a charity which awards travel grants in connection with the furtherance of agricultural research.