SolACE is making major steps forward as it gets closer to the half-way point of the project

SolACE organized its second Annual Meeting in Dundee, Scotland in early October 2019, partly together with its European partner project TomRes – A Novel and integrated approach to Increase multiple and combined stress tolerance in plats using tomato as a model. As SolACE is almost half-way through the course of the project, this was a great opportunity to share lots of new results from the experiments conducted since the previous meeting in Foggia.

Group photo of SolACE-TomRes joint meeting in Dundee. Photo: Fanny Tran.

SolACE started almost 2.5 years ago and organized its second Annual Meeting in Dundee, Scotland, thanks to local organizers, Davide Cammarano, Philip White and Tim George at JHI. It was decided to organize part of this meeting jointly with SolACE’s H2020 partner project TomRes. The first part of the meeting provided unique opportunities for SolACE partners to report on the many results produced within the project since May 2018, and especially those from 2018/2019 field experiments, as well as those obtained in laboratory and phenotyping platform conditions. The various work package workshops made it possible to further exchange about ongoing and future experiments and modelling efforts, in order to make critical decisions about methodologies and farmers’ networks. A special feature of this second Annual Meeting was the interactive dissemination session co-organized by FiBL and LEAF (Work package 6), which was a lively and efficient experience, as a number of ideas for practice abstracts and training material were identified collectively. Two members of the SolACE Stakeholders Advisory Board (SAB), Ivan Ortiz Monasterio (CIMMYT) and Peter Kromann (CIP), actively participated in the whole meeting, providing external feedback on the progress of our project.

The joint SolACE-TomRes activities started with an evening poster session and dinner. Another major feature of this joint event was the third Stakeholder Event that we organized, offering unique opportunities to have our innovations challenged by stakeholders belonging to the SolACE and TomRes consortium. Four SolACE partners and two TomRes partners had an opportunity to showcase some of the innovations tested in each project through a Dragon Den’s approach orchestrated by the University of Newcastle. Finally, the joint meeting was concluded by a series of eight interactive workshops which were dedicated to exchange about approaches and findings with TomRes partners. This enabled us to identify similarities and differences between our two projects and find opportunities for future joint activities.

This event was an opportunity for the large SolACE community to meet once more, to further get to know each other, and to meet partners from TomRes. Pete Iannetta (JHI, TomRes), who played a key role in the organization of the joint meeting, very impressively showed off his skills in a Scottish bagpipe demonstration that everyone will remember for a long time.