What is ERA-CAPS?
ERA-CAPS is the European Research Area Network for Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences. Building on the ERA-CAPS ERA-NET that was supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme until mid 2015, ERA-CAPS has now become a self-sustained network.
A recent foresight report from 2011 on food and farming futures which involved over 400 experts from a broad range of disciplines in 35 countries outlined five major challenges which must be addressed to secure future food supplies and a viable bio-economy in Europe:
- Healthy, safe and sufficient food.
- Plant-based products – chemicals and energy.
- Sustainable agriculture, forestry and landscape.
- Vibrant and competitive basic research.
- Consumer choice and governance.
Meeting these challenges is an ambitious goal that will not be met without an underpinning EU-wide plant science research structure. We are convinced that ERA-CAPS can help to deliver the science and coordination required to make progress against these challenges.
Therefore, ERA-CAPS initiative aims at deepening and enlarging European cooperation in the area of Plant Sciences, which should significantly help plant sciences to address both current and future challenges in food and non-food crop production.
The ERA-CAPS network comprises currently 9 partners from 8 European countries and the USA, and 11 observers (10 of them funding organisations) and is coordinated by BBSRC.