On the final stretch
4th and Final Annual Progress Meeting held in Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Following the invitation of TomGEM partner Prof. Galina Pevicharova of Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute, the TomGEM consortium gathered for its 4th and Final face to face Progress Meeting in sunny Plovdiv (Bulgaria) from 24th to 25th February 2020. Plovdiv is now a modern city of about 500,000 inhabitants in the Thracian plain on the banks of the river Maritsa, the earliest settlement in this location is reported to date back to 4,000 BC.
While the meeting was under way, the TomGEM consortium received great news: the EC approved a no-cost extension of TomGEM for another six months until 31 August 2020.
On the first meeting day, academic and industry partners presented their progress since last year’s Project Meeting held in London and, as the project is approaching the final stretch, elaborated on exploitation potential and further investigations opened up by the project results achieved in TomGEM by now.
Part of the second day was specifically dedicated to Dissemination and Exploitation and allowed ample time for the researchers to jointly discuss Key Exploitable Results and organise planned publications to be submitted within the final six months.
The second meeting day was rounded off with an open Roundtable Discussion “Science meets Industry” that was attended by representatives from breeding as well as seed companies from Bulgaria. The TomGEM consortium welcomed local industry partners GeoSemSelect Ltd, Amitica Ltd and Enza Zaden Bulgaria who joined the meeting for a lively discussion related to TomGEM’s main topic of yield and heat stress and reported on their individual experiences in this respect. The roundtable allowed for establishing first contacts with these industry partners regarding future breeding and management strategies as well as breeding of new tomato cultivars to maintain high yields of tomatoes at harsh temperature conditions.
Overall, the meeting was a great success and it was with some regret that the partners parted after the meeting, knowing that this was the last time they would meet in person in the frame of the TomGEM project. All partners agreed that their joint efforts within the following six months will lead TomGEM to its successful termination in August 2020.