The first webinar on ‘How to prepare a successful proposal in Horizon Europe’ will focus on Submission & Evaluation and Model Grant Agreement on 24 March 2021 from 10 AM onwards.

It will be available on YouTube only. The agenda will include two main points: “Submission and Evaluation” and “Model Grant Agreement”

Check the agenda here

To register:

Source: European Commission

For the ERC Starting Grant, the submission system is now open on the ECs funding and tenders portal. This call closes on 8 April 2021, 17.00h. Please note that the date is different from the one indicated in the EPSO briefing on ERC 2021 calls published on 26.02.2021 for Members only. Members have thus more time than initially announced.

The ERC Consolidator Grant call 2021 is now published on the funding and tenders portal. Relevant information such as proposal templates is available from the ERC website. This call closes on 20 April 2021, 17.00h.

Updated EPSO Briefing on ERC 2021 calls is available here.

Source: ERC newsletter, 12.03.2021

The Call: “Circularity in mixed crops and livestock farming systems with emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation” is about research on (re-) integration of crop and livestock farming systems with the aim to enhance circularity between these systems and thereby improve the sustainability of farms.

The 2021 Joint Call follows a one-stage submission procedure with a deadline for the submission of full proposals on 26th of May, 2021, 3PM (CEST).

The four ERA-NETs SusAn (Sustainable Animal Production Systems), FACCE ERA-GAS (Monitoring and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases from Agriculture and Silviculture), ICT-AGRI-FOOD and SusCrop (Sustainable Crop Production) have coordinated and aligned efforts in areas of mutual interest and established a joint transnational funding initiative in the field of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) research, focusing on circularity in mixed crops and livestock farming systems with emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The 2021 Joint Call consists of 30 public Funding Parties from 16 European countries, 3 EU-associated countries and 4 from other countries, including both funders from non-European countries and international networks:

List all 23 countries here: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, UK, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay and countries that can apply to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

A total amount of approximately 16M€ has been provisionally reserved by the participating Funding Parties of the 2021 Joint Call. The funds will be provided directly by the respective national/regional Funding Parties to successful national/regional applicants.

Read the Call Announcement

Access the submission system.

Source and contacts: SusCrop ERA-NET, 09.03.2021

We start with two senior scientists exploring the role Genome Editing has to play in modern plant sciences and its potential to help tackle some of the most pressing global issues facing people today.

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

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 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.

 In the inaugural seminar we will present talks from:

Prof. Holger Puchta, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Germany

 “Applying CRISPR/Cas to Plants: From Gene Editing to Chromosome Engineering”

Dr. René Smulders, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

 “Opportunities of gene editing for breeding crop varieties that fit in sustainable agriculture”

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.

Register in advance for this meeting:

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


We look forward to seeing you all for the inaugural EPSO seminar on the 18th March 2021

 Tim George, Alan Schulman and Emily Breeze

EPSO Plant Science Seminar Series Organising Committee


Click here to read: Full EPSO news item  8.3.2021


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


ERC 2021 is the first Work Programme under Horizon Europe, Europe’s new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2021-2027 to be published. It includes three main calls for proposals for frontier research actions for a total amount of €1.9 billion.

Over the entire long-term EU budget 2021-2027 of €95,5 Billion in current prices (accounting for inflation), the European Research Council is set to receive over €16 billion from Horizon Europe, which represents an increase of 22% vis-à-vis Horizon 2020. Thus, the ERC will benefit from the biggest single budget line in Horizon Europe.

EPSO encourages its members to apply for ERC 2021 calls following the calendar below.



Starting  Grant Consolidator Grant Advanced Grant
Call identifier ERC-2021-StG ERC-2021-CoG ERC-2021-AdG
Opening date 25/02/2021 11/03/2021 20/05/2021
Deadline(s) 24/03/2021 20/04/2021 31/08/2021

The Synergy Grants are not available under the 2021 Work Programme but will be likely awarded again as from Work Programme 2022. Moreover, the ERC Proof-of-Concept Grant is currently under revision by the ERC Scientific Council and does not appear in 2021 Work Programme.

Wishing you success with your proposals

Karin Metzlaff, Alexandra Barnoux and Alan Schulman


Contacts: Karin Metzlaff and Alexandra Barnoux

On 3 November 2020 EPSO member-scientists and policy makers from ten countries across Europe held the third 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 May 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 3rd 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