Horta Srl is a spin-off of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore borne in 2008 with the mission to increase the value of research by transferring the technological innovation to practical agriculture at national and international level.
Horta provides services in the field of plant production, in order to increase the competitiveness of farms and agro.food companies in terms of productivity, quality and stability of the productions, profitability, environmental sustainability and food safety.
The core business of Horta is to design, develop and implement Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for sustainable crop production based on new Information and communication Technologies (ICTs). All DSSs are web based and accessible form the company website through a username and password. The supports given are based on agro-meteorological data, expert knowledge and epidemiological models for the key aspects of crop management: main pests and diseases, plant growth, abiotic stresses, choice and application of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). The DSSs also include several indicators for the calculation of environmental impacts of the crop management activies. A user-friendly interface is used to overcome the “implementation problem” of ICT solutions in agriculture.
Horta has all facilities and expertise to test new solutions both at on-station and on-farm level in its experimental farm and trough the network of the client farms which cover different environmental and cropping conditions across Italy. Horta has a substantial network of stakeholders of the agri-food sector to whom it disseminates the innovations developed and tested.
Horta has expertise in coordinating and partecipated to EU funded projects, the most recent and relevant are:
– MoDeM_IVM (FP7-SME; 2011-2012) as PROJECT LEADER
– Innovine: (EU FP7, KBBE; 2013-2016) as WP LEADER
– WATER4CROPS (FP7-KBBE; 2012-2016), PAThOGEN (Erasmus+; 2015-2018), MyToolBox (H2020-SFS; 2016-2020), IWMPRAISE (H2020-SFS; 2017-2022) as PARTICIPANT
UCSC is the largest Italian academic Institution, counting 5 campuses, 12 faculties and more than 40 thousand students. The Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science has his campus in Piacenza, in Northern Italy and was established in the academic year 1952-53. UCSC is active in teaching in academic courses and PhDs, participates to National and European research projects, disseminates results in scientific papers and congresses.
Two Departments are involved in the AGRESTIC project:
1) The Department of Sustainable Crop Production – DI.PRO.VE.S., which includes three main research areas:
i)Agronomy and vegetal biotechnology, whose main research is focused on agronomy, herbaceous crop cultivation, agricultural ecology, agricultural genetics and crop genetic improvement, physiology of cropped plant species, general and systematic botany;
ii)Fruit-viticulture, whose research focus on fruit trees and vine, mainly on genetic improvement, plant physiology and cultural techniques, aiming to improve crop environmental and economic sustainability;
iii)Sustainable protection of plant and food, whose research focus on crop (agricultural entomology addressing both damaging and useful species, plant pathogens, development of mathematical models for crop protection and their use in decision support systems) and food safety (damaging arthropods, fungi and mycotoxin contamination).
2) The Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, which research is focused on the agro-food chains, agro-food politics, agriculture and environment, food consumption and international commerce.
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna is a public university specialized in applied sciences aimed to pave innovative pathways in education and research, responding to the modernization and innovation of society itself.
The project developed for this application will be carried out by the staff of Institute of Life sciences (ISV)
In particular ISV activities are focused on research, consulting and higher education including e.g.:
– Evaluation of Agroecosystem Sustainability
– Landscape Agronomy
– Information and Communication Technology for Agroecosystems
– Agroforestry and Multifunctional Agriculture
– Biomass, Energy and Industrial Crops
– Weed Ecology and Management
– Management of Semi-natural Habitats and Conservation Biological Control
– Applied Insect Ecology
– Hydro-informatics for water management and governance
– Water-related Agroecosystem Services
For the aim of the project AGRESTIC the experiences gained by the research group working on the analysis of agroecosystems-environment relationships at farm and landscape level will be exploited. On this research topic ISV carried out projects aimed at designing sustainable agroecosystems able to contribute to climate change mitigation and to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
In particular, in relation to the actions coordinated in this project, SSSA will exploit previous experience carried out mainly concerning the measuring of direct GHG emissions from agricultural soil, modelling and GIS-based upscaling of GHG emissions and in monitoring the impact of the project and performance indicators.
ART-ER (Attractiveness Research Territory)
ART-ER Attractiveness Research Territory is the Emilia-Romagna Joint Stock Consortium that was born from the merger of ASTER and ERVET, with the purpose of fostering the region’s sustainable growth by developing innovation and knowledge, attractiveness and internationalisation of the region system.
The core activities of the Sustainable Regional Development Division focus on the support of regional programming and planning, cooperation, and promotion of collaboration with economic and social players in order to promote the sustainable development of the Emilia-Romagna region. The Division operates on many levels. First of all, it develops activities and projects for regional development and the promotion of investments in the region, including foreign ones, with particular focus on raising funds and assisting investors. It also builds facilities and infrastructure for the economic development of the region, fosters the partnership of public corporations, the promotion of quality and training in the management of tender procedures of the Emilia-Romagna region and local administrations, and monitors safety and legality issues. In addition, the Division carries out studies and research on the production sectors, and on institutional, environmental, local, economic and social structures and processes; it provides technical and scientific support to the identification, implementation and monitoring of regional policies for a sustainable management of the area and of the green economy; it is also the main point of reference for regional sectors as concerns international policies and local cooperation. Lastly, the Division supports the Region in processing structural funds and operating local development programmes set up by regional, national or European Union initiatives and performs the role of Regional Accreditation Body for the energy certification of buildings.
Isea is one of the leading plant breeding company in Italy and in other countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Russia, etc. Isea produces 17 different species, mainly bread and durum wheat, barley, oat, pea, sunflower, alfalfa, chickpea and faba bean. Many of the company’s varieties of cereals and legumes introduced into the EU market have made a significant impact, not just in terms of market share, but also in yield improvement, quality and disease resistance. Intensive multilocation yield tests in several thousand plots, as well as disease scoring under both natural and artificial inoculation of several genotypes are performed each year as the basis of selection procedures.
The main research objective is to find different traits of agronomic relevance such as yield, yield components and response to abiotic and biotic stresses, to transfer these into the already existing varieties or to create new improved varieties. Important collaborations with italian and international universities and research groups garantee the robustness of the studies.
To date the company is focused on an important work about the breeding in durum and bread wheat of water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency and MAS (marker assisted selection) procedures to introduce resistance to fusarium spp. On legumes different research activities are in progress in faba bean, pea, chickpea, lentil and lupin about the absence of antinutritional factors and the abiotic and biotic resistance.
Isea has a strong expertise in plant breeding and agronomy trials and is open to innovative methodologies such as MAS selection and genomic selection.
New Business Media (NBM) is a new company of the Tecniche Nuove Group, which includes some of the leading technical headlines in the specialized publishing market. Areas of interest cover most of the productive activities: i) agricolture and agro-industry, ii) retail, horeca and hospitality, iii) environment and energy saving, iv) security, v) construction, architecture and design, and vi) Information andCommunication Technology. NBM numbers: 31 specialized paper journals,32 websites,42 thematic newsletters, 350 books in catalog Edagricole, 350.000 registered users, 50 social network active channels, 7 APPs, 28 e-magazines.
These are just some of the figures that represent, better than any other argument, our leadership in professional information and demonstrate how NBM is able to give voice and visibility to thousands of large, medium and small businesses.
The publishing house relevant for the AGRESTIC project is Edagricole, born in 1937 as the first Italian publishing house entirely dedicated to agriculture, nowadays is the leader in terms of agri-food business and market information.
Edagricole’s production includes a weekly magazine (“Terra e Vita” on agriculture economics and markets), a fortnightly magazine (Informatore Zootecnico on dairy cows) and many monthly magazines (by subscription in paper version and digital) that deal with all important topics needed by professionals (horticulture, fruit growing and orchards, olive growing, viticulture, pig breeding, transformation and agricultural mechanization).
More than 300 books on many different topics and www.novagricoltura.com complete the offer. Nova Agricoltura is the biggest Italian Community of innovation in agriculture. Nova Agricoltura organizes meetings, workshops and events on field for all people who want to keep on updating.
NBM has all the experties and facilities necessary to provide a wide and specialized dissemination of the AGRESTIC project objectives and results.