The European Commission is organizing info days on the Horizon Europe 2022 calls Cluster 6, the one most relevant to plant scientists, under which 77 topics will be open from 28.10.2021 on.

The programme will focus on:

  • Raising awareness about the key aspects of HE proposal preparation and the evaluation process.
  • Giving an insight about the HE Mission ‘Soil health and food’.
  • Highlighting the HE horizontal novelties and the key success factors to proposal preparation.
  • Offering networking and matchmaking opportunities to prospective applicants to support the building of proposals’ consortia in a dedicated brokerage day.

More detailed programme and registration:

See as well the EPSO Briefing on Horizon Europe, updated 29.9.2021 

Source: EC

The 6th European-wide seminar of the new series supported by the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) and aimed at the Plant Science community and its stakeholders.

TTT: The seminar will be held online each third Thursday of the month at three (CET).


On 21st October 2021 at 15:00 (CET) we will present two talks exploring “Evolution of Plants for Life on Land”


Prof Liam Dolan, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austria

                             “Evolution of land plant rooting systems”


Dr Pierre-Marc Delaux, CNRS, University of Toulouse, France

                            “Origin and diversification of plant symbioses”

 The seminars will be hosted on Zoom and last approximately 1.5 hours. Numbers will be limited to 300 attendees and therefore please register early if you would like to join. There will be ample opportunities to ask questions and join the debate. So please join us to support this new and exciting initiative for European Plant Science by following this link just prior to the start of the seminar.


EPSO members register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

In the coming months we will be on the lookout for talented plant scientists among the EPSO membership to present their findings and perspectives to the EPSO seminar series. If we approach you to talk, we hope you will be happy to support the initiative. This is a fantastic opportunity for both eminent world leaders and talented up-and-coming early career researchers to present their research to an international audience and to network with potential collaborators. If you wish to suggest a theme for one of the spring seminars and / or nominate yourself or one of your colleagues to give a seminar, we most welcome your suggestions. Please contact Tim George ([email protected]) to provide your name and potential talk title.

We look forward to seeing you all for the 6th EPSO seminar on the 21st October 2021

 Tim George, Alan Schulman and Marie-Theres Hauser

EPSO Plant Science Seminar Series Organising Committee


 Click here to read: Full EPSO news item


  • Tim George, Hutton / UK & EPSO Board
  • Alan Schulman, LUKE / FI & EPSO President
  • Emily Breeze, Warwick University / UK & EPSO Representative

On 14 May 2021 EPSO member-scientists and policy makers from sixteen countries across Europe held the fourth open-minded, informal meeting to assess the situation for research and development on New Plant Breeding Technologies (NPBTs) after the ruling of the ECJ in July 2018.

They exchanged views on the current situation of genome editing (GE) in Europe and possible next steps to enable Europe to better address climate change, achieve food and nutritional security, and establish a sustainable agriculture in Europe and world-wide. Such steps should bring the discussion forward on the EU legislation and facilitating potential flagships. The meeting was held under Chatham House Rules.


The next meeting will be held in November 2021.

As explained in our statement of 19.2.2019, EPSO offers to collaborate with policy makers to develop an appropriate future-ready regulation to enable the European public sector, small- and medium-sized companies and farmers to contribute more comprehensively to food and nutritional security and to use all available tools to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. Notwithstanding the technical option retained, EPSO supports a science-based revision of the present European legislation establishing a more proportionate product-based risk assessment. EPSO is also willing to contribute to the societal debate on genome editing and to communicate in a fact-based and yet accessible manner about innovative plant science and its societal role.


Ralf Wilhelm, Jens Sundstrom, Alan Schulman, Ernst van den Ende and Karin Metzlaff


Read the 4th meeting report 



  • Ralf Wilhelm & Jens Sundstrom, EPSO Chairs WG Agricultural Technologies
  • Alan Schulman, EPSO President
  • Ernst van den Ende, EPSO Board
  • Karin Metzlaff, EPSO Executive Director

The updated EPSO Briefing on the Horizon Europe Work Programmes 2021-22 has been published on the Members’ only website*. It contains all information for plant scientists already available in one document, It provides you as well additional researched information and final call texts published by the European Commission since 15 June 2021.

Updates concern  the evaluation of the projects and expert database (p16), country participation (p18), Pillar 1 (ERC WP2022 added, Marie Slodowska-Curie Actions, Research Infrastructures), all calls under Pillar 2, most importantly cluster 6 ‘Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment’, and Widening participation and Strengthening the European Research Area. For ERC 2022 Calls, EPSO encourages its members to check regularly on the Funding & Tenders platform the following calls ERC-2022-CoG, AdG, PoC2 and PER as they were not yet available on this platform when the briefing was updated. Finally, in the Widening programme there are many different tools with rather small budgets. Therefore, EPSO will offer a separate briefing if members show interest in this Work Programme.

 *Access to the Members’ only Website is restricted to EPSO active Members (not sleeping members, not external Personal Members) – please contact Sofia to get access.

Work Programmes covered in the briefing:

Excellent Science


  • MSCA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action 2021-2022
    • MSCA-SE-2021: opening on 7.10.2021, closing 9.3.2022
    • MSCA-SE-2022: opening on 6.10.2022, closing 8.3.2023
    • MSCA-NIGHT-2022: closing on 7.10.2021
    • MSCA-COFUND-2021: opening on 12.10.2021, closing 10.2.2022
    • MSCA-COFUND-2022: opening on 11.10.2022, closing 9.2.2023
    • MSCA-PF-2021: opened 22.6.2021, closing on 12.10.2021
    • MSCA-PF-2022: opening on 13.4.2021, closing on 14.9.2022
    • MSCA-DN-2021: opened 22.6.2021, closing on 16.11.2021
    • MSCA-DN-2022: opening on 3.5.2022, closing on 15.11.2022


Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness – Thematic clusters


Innovative Europe

Widening Participation and Strengthening the European research Area


Further Work Programmes are available on the Funding & Tenders portal

 Please, note that the list of calls is under update in the dedicated table of the Member only section., on EPSO website.

 Wishing you success with your proposals


Karin Metzlaff, Alexandra Barnoux and Alan Schulman


Contact: Karin Metzlaff


InnCoCells – Innovative high-value cosmetic products from plants and plant cells – is a four-year collaborative research and innovation project that aims to revolutionize the way cosmetic ingredients are discovered, manufactured and developed into validated cosmetic products.

For the next four years, 17 partners, representing 12 countries in Europe will be working together to develop sustainable production systems for plant-derived cosmetic ingredients.

“The main goal of the project is to develop sustainable natural cosmetic ingredients from plants using innovative production processes based on plant cell cultures and plants grown in the greenhouse, field or aeroponic facilities, as well as agricultural waste streams. Plants that are currently in danger of overharvesting will be cultivated in a sustainable and cost-effective manner to ensure that the new ingredients pose no risk to biodiversity or environmental health,” says Dr Kirsi-Marja Oksman, the coordinator of the project from the VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd)

InnCoCells is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101000373 with a budget of €7.9 million.

Partners are universities and research organizations, including two EPSO members VTT (FI) and Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB / BE), SMEs and one large industry partner, EPSO and one sectorial organization representing the cosmetics industry.

EPSO will coordinate and engage the stakeholder group to facilitate their advice to project partners throughout the project on the planning and implementation from their point of view to optimise project results, their uptake and impact. They will support dissemination and exploitation of project results. The SHG will be invited annually to a project meeting EPSO will also support dissemination activities such as producing videos on the project.

By the end of the project, the InnCoCells researchers hope to have addressed seven key objectives:

  • Screening a range of plant species to find at least 10 with relevant metabolic pathways (being careful to observe access and benefit sharing rules).
  • Developing an evaluation pipeline to effectively test the plants for bioactive natural products, aiming to verify the activity of at least 50 ingredients.
  • At least 20 of these will lead to optimized production processes in cell cultures or whole plants, the latter grown in the greenhouse, field or aeroponic facilities.
  • Developing additional processes from at least 10 agricultural waste streams, using a cascade approach to produce multiple extracts from the same source to maximize value.
  • The fifth and sixth objectives involve the development of sustainable pilot-scale production and purification technologies for at least 10 active ingredients, and the assembly of product safety and regulatory dossiers as well as environmental assessments.
  • Sharing the knowledge generated in the project with cosmetics industry stakeholders and end-users, to help to commercialize the ingredients and develop products that will satisfy consumer demands.

Read the full Press release to know more.

Contacts: Dr Kirsi-Marja Oksman ([email protected]) and Dr Richard Twyman ([email protected])

The report concludes that ‘Agricultural support Is not providing desirable results for sustainability and human health, but repurposing it can be a game changer. It offers governments an opportunity to optimize the sue of scare public resources to transform food systems in ways that make them not only more efficient, but also more supportive of the SDGs.’

The six steps governments may follow include ‘identifying needed reforms’. ‘The time has come for greater collaboration and cooperation across government, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to develop evidence on which successful repurposing strategies can be built. The United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 and other subsequent forums present a momentous opportunity to spearhead action in this direction.’

To this end, the EPSO workshop on further developing the EPSO concepts can make a valuable contribution from academia. It will be held online on 26 October 2021. EPSO members are invited to register with Karin Metzlaff to participate in the workshop.


The four main EPSO concepts to further elaborate on are:

  1. Address Food and Nutritional Security, environmental sustainability and human health in parallel as much as possible.
  2. Improve crops towards ‘Diverse crops for diverse diets and human and resilient production’
  3. ‘Combine approaches on crop improvement, crop management and crop processing’, to enable interdisciplinary approaches with co-benefits in Europe and beyond.
  4. Policy makers should define the goals to reach but leave the pathways how to achieve this open to the stakeholders to encourage innovation and combining advantages of different approaches.

An announcement of the workshop will be sent to EPSO members end of September.

Contact us to get involved in the coming weeks : Alan Schulman, Ulrich Schurr, Ernst van den Ende and Karin Metzlaff – EPSO President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Executive Director




  • EPSO statement on the Biodiversity Draft SRIA, 29.1.2021 [link]
  • EPSO draft statement on Nutritional security, 11.5.2020 [link]
  • EPSO statement on the EU Farm to Fork strategy, 2.6.2020 [link]
  • EPSO submission to EC mission ideas call, 30.3.2018 ‘1001 crops – diverse crops for diverse diets and human health and sustainable production’ [link]