The Agricultural Machinery Unit studies the sustainable use of plant protection products in two European projects

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Crop protection and the sustainable use of plant protection products are the aim of the INNOSETA project

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The research team from the UPC’s Agricultural Machinery Unit

The UPC’s Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA) coordinates the INNOSETA European project, which aims to establish an innovative thematic network on crop protection and the sustainable use of plant protection products. It also participates in the OPTIMA project for developing intelligent equipment for the safe application of plant protection products. Both are European research projects funded by the H2020 programme.

Jan 15, 2021

The Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), which is linked to the Barcelona School of Agri-Food and Biosystems Engineering (EEABB), is leading the European research project Accelerating Innovative Practices for Spraying Equipment, Training and Advising in European Agriculture through the Mobilization of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (INNOSETA), funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. The UPC participates in this project with 14 European partners: the Universita Degli Studi di Torino (Italy), the Agricultural University of Athens (Greece), the Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Belgium), the Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (France), the European Agricultural Machinery (CEMA), the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), the Unión de Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos (Spain), the General Confederation of Italian Agriculture (Italy), Agricultural & Environmental Solutions, AGENSO (Greece), the Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (Netherlands), VISAVI (Sweden), the West Pomeranian Agricultural Advisory Center (Poland), the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (Greece) and the European farmers’ association COPA-COGECA (Belgium).

The main objective of the INNOSETA project is to establish a self-sustainable and innovative thematic network on crop protection and the sustainable use of plant protection products (spraying equipment, training and advising) to close the gap between the many European research projects and farmers. The project promotes the exchange of new ideas and information between industry, universities and research centres and the agricultural community so that the needs of the sector can be identified and existing scientific and commercial solutions can be widely disseminated and applied. It aims to build a bridge between the research sector and the agricultural sector with regard to the objectives set by the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture.

Improving food quality
The UMA also participates in the European project Optimised Pest Integrated Management to Precisely Detect and Control Plant Diseases in Perennial Crops and Open-Field Vegetables (OPTIMA), which aims to develop intelligent equipment for the safe application of plant protection products. The resulting new technology will pave the way for making proper use of plant protection products to suit crop needs and for reducing the quantities used, thus improving food quality and minimising the risk of environmental pollution.

The project, also funded by the H2020 European programme, brings together several European universities and research centres such as Wageningen University (Netherlands), the University of Turin (Italy) and the Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l’Environnement et l’Agriculture (IRSTEA, France); associations such as the European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA), the European farmer’s association COPA-COGECA and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA); and entities and companies such as the Aragon Association for the Promotion of Integrated Pest Management (APROGIP) and Pulverizadores Fede.

The Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA) is a research and technology transfer group that focuses on agricultural machinery, with wide experience in technology for the application of plant protection products. It also carries out teaching activities. Its close relationship with the main companies in the sector (machine manufacturers, agricultural organisations and agrochemical companies) makes it possible for the group to organise teaching activities with the latest innovations in the sector and to provide students with training tailored to current professional needs.