Improving Fruit Quality for Tomorrow
TomGEM 1st Annual Progress Meeting held in Toulouse
From May 17-18, 2017 the TomGEM consortium gathered for its 1st Annual Progress Meeting in Toulouse (France). The meeting was hosted by the TomGEM coordinator Prof. Mondher Bouzayen of the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT) who not only arranged for a smooth and successful meeting but also made great efforts to make the project partners from across Europe and Taiwan feel welcome in Toulouse by introducing them to the culinary specialties of the area.
The first meeting day was dedicated to presentations and discussions of the work progress and achieved results since the start of TomGEM in March 2016. Following the official welcome by the coordinator, all project partners outlined their work which they accomplished so far and discussed the progress, status quo and outlook in the scientific, management and dissemination work packages.
The presented results showed a good (scientific) progress and demonstrated the sound cooperation between the 18 international consortium partners. In this context, Frédéric Delmas of the University of Bordeaux stated after the meeting: “The results meet completely my expectations and I would highlight the tight connection we were able to do between partners.”
The TomGEM partner Eurice who supports the coordinator in the management of the project addressed key aspects of project communication and dissemination during the meeting and organised an Exploitation Session in the morning of the second meeting day. This Session focused on central issues of Intellectual Property (IP) and IP management in Horizon 2020 and well as on the discussion of expected exploitable results obtained from the TomGEM project. Discussions between the involved scientists and industry partners about the exploitation of project results will continue as the project keeps running for the next three years in order to maximise TomGEM’s outputs and their impact.
As TomGEM aims to develop innovative breeding and management strategies to foster breeding of new tomato cultivars with improved yield under suboptimal temperature conditions, the afternoon of the second meeting day was devoted to on open Roundtable Discussion with representatives from tomato producing and breeding as well as seed companies.
Representatives from Syngenta, Semillas Fitó and the Italian seed company Semiorto Sementi based in the Campania region in the south of Italy joined the meeting which allowed for a fruitful interaction and discussion with the TomGEM partners related to the topic of yield and heat stress. In this way, TomGEM was able to ensure a wide visibility early on, inform the relevant industry about the project’s objectives and expected results and could already establish a link with those stakeholders at an early stage of the project.
Overall, the project coordinator Prof. Mondher Bouzayen considered the 1st TomGEM Progress Meeting as “useful, active and productive. It allowed to evaluate collectively the progress made and to identify potential risks in the execution of the project.”