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Supporting environmental microbiology and biotechnology research potential in Western Greece (MicrobeGR)
Start date: 01 Feb 2008, End date: 31 Jan 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Western Greece is a large and mostly agricultural region; however, it lacks cutting edge technological facilities, and the necessary expertise and knowledge to address major agricultural and environmental problems. Therefore, it can not exploit scientific information thus humbling the region in its quest for bio-economy. We believe that focusing on life sciences and particularly on environmental microbiology and biotechnology, will result in the development of improved crops and forest resources. Exploitation and sustainable use of biodiversity will enable our region and country to put the foundations for implementing relevant strategies for the development of bio-economy. Currently, the detection, identification and management of microbial pathogens, insects pests and disease vectors pose significant challenges for the agricultural, environmental and medical communities. The emergence of new pathogens, pests and disease problems, the growing concern of the public over pesticide use and the more stringent environmental regulations have generated the need for developing and applying new technologies for identifying and detecting, pests and disease vectors. Our proposal focuses on microbes, insect pests and disease vectors that affect agricultural and environmental communities by addressing two important points: (a) the identification, detection, quantification of pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms in the plant and in the soil and (b) the management of insect pests and disease vectors using novel, symbiont-based and environment-friendly approaches. Implementation of the supporting actions outlined in the current proposal will enable us: (i) to gain human resources, knowledge and expertise to address the significant agricultural and environmental problems of the region of the W. Greece (ii) have a better integration in the European Research Area (iii) improve our capacity for participation in FP7 projects and (iv) improve our RTD capacity and quality of research.
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