Research is urgently needed to strengthen the fight against Xylella fastidiosa, a dangerous plant pathogen worldwide, damaging important crops including fruit trees (olive trees), grapevine and ornamentals. A new EU-funded project just started and funding for another project will be available in the coming months. A new EU-funded project entitled Pest Organisms Threatening Europe (POnTE) just started on 1st November and will receive € 6,8 million over 4 years. It aims to respond among other things to the outbreak of the Xyllela fastidiosa pest in Europe.
Coordinated by the Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (IT), the project targets three different pests, including Xyllela, to minimise the plant health risks caused by emerging pests for Europe’s agriculture and forestry. More concretely, it will develop early detection and surveillance tools, produce new knowledge and practical solutions to solve emerging diseases. The grant agreement, N° 635646 has been awarded under the topic SFS-03a-2014 on ‘Native and alien pests in agriculture and forestry’ of the Societal Challenge 2 Work Programme 2014- 2015.
The recently published Work Programme 2016- 2017 for Societal Challenge 2 provides additional funding opportunities for research and innovation on the Xyllela fastidiosa pest. Grants awarded under the topic SFS-9-2016 will be complementary to this project. PONTE was presented in the context of a workshop held on 12-13 November 2015 in Brussels. More information can be found on the event page and on Horizon 2020 website. A more detailed list of work packages, partners and activities is also available on the project page.