BBSRC Partnerships to address Crop and Pest Diseases in UK Agriculture and Horticulture
Closing Date: 03/08/2022
Funding for projects that will improve the understanding, management and control of crop pests and diseases that threaten crop production in the UK.
UK agriculture faces increasing pressure from pests and diseases, due to a combination of: new non-indigenous threats; emerging resistance to chemical controls; and pressures on the availability of plant protection products. Innovation-driven research is needed for novel controls of crop pests and diseases to improve the resilience of agriculture and horticulture while reducing environmental impacts and supporting biodiversity.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is providing funding for projects to test approaches and develop strategies to improve the understanding, management and control of crop pests and diseases that present a significant threat to crop production in the UK.
Proposals should bring together businesses to partner with academic researchers for discovery research and innovation activities addressing crop pests and diseases of direct relevance to farmers and growers.
Projects should explore at least one of the following challenge areas:
- Fundamental study of the biology of pests and diseases. This includes:
- Studies of host-pest interactions
- Population biology and epidemiology
- Diversity and abundance studies
- Mechanisms of infection and dispersal
- Prevention and biosecurity. This involves studies and approaches to prevent pest incidence and proliferation, including, but not limited to:
- Genetics of crop and host tolerance and resistance
- Novel cultural and rotational approaches
- Habitat and environmental management to maximise the presence of natural enemies
- Approaches to limit the introduction and spread of pests and diseases
- Detection and forecasting. This relates to studies that develop new approaches and applications for detection, monitoring and forecasting of crop pests, including, but not limited to real-time and remote sensing, development of novel sensors and molecular diagnostics, and the integration of these new tools into forecasting and decision-support applications
- Novel control. This is the development of new approaches that provide new control solutions for crop pests, including chemical, biological and genetic interventions
- Development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches. This involves the development of proof-of-concept for novel IPM approaches that combine prevention, detection and control to deliver truly integrated solutions, including approaches that integrate pest and disease control and modelling and simulation of IPM systems.
Projects can last for three to six months. Projects are expected to commence between 1 January 2023 and 1 October 2023 and must end before 31 December 2023.