Due to the coronavirus, the next joint conference by FESPB & EPSO Plant Biology Europe 2020 is postponed to 28th June to 1st July 2021, in Turin (Centro Congressi Lingotto).  Save the date!


Important dates

Please check the website regularly for updates and official announcements regarding new Abstract and Registration deadlines.


EPSO Young Plant Scientist Award

The two winners of the EPSO Young Plant Scientist Award for 2020 will have the opportunity to present their research during a plenary session of the Plant Biology Europe EPSO / FESPB joint congress in 2021.

  • Apolonio I. HUERTA was selected for his fundamental plant research and
  • Ann-Katrin BEUEL for her applied plant research.

EPSO initiated these awards to encourage the development of ideas and imaginative thinking in the plant sciences.

FoPD 2020  will be ongoing in some countries, led by the respective National Coordinators, while respecting  the regulation and restriction regarding the coronavirus.

We invite you to post your FoPD news on Twitter with #FoPD and #PlantDay.

FoPD also has a new Instagram account @fascinationofplantsday. You can follow us for updates on FoPD as well as on our Facebook and Twitter.

We invite the FoPD National Coordinators and event organisers to send pictures and/ or short videos of your activities last year and as appropriate this year in your language (plus English if needed) to raise awareness on this Instagram.

Contacts : Alexandra Barnoux, Publications Officer & Ronald Tipan, Communications Officer

Strasbourg: 8 April 2020

The European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council has made a clear statement on 8 April about the reasons that led to their unanimous vote of no-confidence in Mauro Ferrari as ERC President on 27 March.

Mauro Ferrari announced his resignation on April 7, three months after starting in his new position. Prof. Ferrari’s statement published by the Financial Times presenting his decision as having been triggered by the rejection by the ERC governing body of his proposal to allocate ERC resources for top-down funding of research related to COVID-19, contrasts the ERC SC statement.

ISE, the Initiative for Science in Europe, supports the ERC Science Council’s view that it is not for the ERC to engineer a quick response to this crisis. A move to top-down funding would be fundamentally at odds with the mission and the spirit of the organization. The ERC already funds projects related to coronaviruses; this recently published list illustrates the point that basic research is the best long term preparation for new challenges. In all of the research groups with a competence in virus research, including those funded by the ERC, researchers are working round the clock on SARS-Cov-2.

ISE strongly supports the values and mission of the ERC. More than ever now is its role for European research relevant to address global challenges. We praise the results achieved so far and are confident about ERC’s positive and long-lasting impact on Europe.

Contact: Professor Martin Andler, President of the Initiative for Science in Europe , [email protected]

o Full ISE statement
o ERC Scientific Council statement
o EU supported Coronavirus research and innovation
o The European Commission will now initiate an identification process to appoint a new ERC President in accordance with the provisions of the legal acts on Horizon 2020. In the meantime, one of the three ERC Vice-Presidents (Eveline Crone, Fabio Zwirner, Janet Thornton) will take over the President’s duties on an interim basis. [KoWi, 8.4.2020]

Source : Initiative for Science in Europe (ise)

The European Commission invites European scientific and research community organisations to nominate high-level candidates to be put on the short-list of candidate-members for the Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors consists of seven members who provide high-quality independent scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners on specific policy issues. Members are nominated by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from a short-list that is to be replenished by the current open call and of which two new members will be selected to join the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors in November 2020.

A high-level independent identification committee will oversee the selection process for this short-list following a set of pre-defined factors and criteria. The group of candidates should e.g. reflect the broad range of scientific disciplines but also consider gender balance and younger next-generation leaders.

Nominations can be submitted until 15 June 2020.

Further information:

» Further information on the selection process and candidates‘ profiles

» Current members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Source : EC, KoWi, 03.04.2020

The European Commission has awarded a contract for the setting up of an open access publishing platform for scientific articles from all disciplines (as well as to host pre-prints) as a free service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries.

Publications via this platform will undergo a peer review process and will meet all open access requirements of the current and the future EU research and innovation programmes.

The contract for setting up this service, worth around 5.8 M EUR, has been awarded to the London-based company F1000 Research Ltd. (owned by Taylor & Francis, and already supporting Open Access publishing platforms of the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation). Additionally, Eurodoc (European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers), LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) and the Global Young Academy will participate in this initiative and will be responsible for the involvement of researchers and libraries as well as for outreach and training activities.

The service will be launched officially at the beginning of 2021, the submission of publications will be possible from autumn 2020. Further information on the platform as well as the possibility to register interest in submitting articles for publication will be available soon.

Further information:

» European Commission press release

» EU Open Science policy and activities

» Press release Eurodoc

» Press release LIBER

» Press release Global Young Academy

» Contact at KoWi

Source : EC & KoWi, 27.03.2020

As the current restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic severely affect the preparation of project applications, the European Commission has extended the submission deadlines for all Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines before 15 April at least until this date. The topic IMI2-2020-21-01 is excluded from this regulation. The deadline for submitting proposals for the call EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 was extended to 20 March 2020.

The exact new deadlines for each call and topic are specified on the respective topic pages in the Funding & Tenders Portal. Below is an overview of the changes we are currently aware of:

FET – Original submission deadline: 23 June 2020, new submission deadline: 2 July 2020 (already announced in the course of the update of the EIC work programme, see AiD of March 6, 2020):

FET PROACT-EIC-07 (Emerging paradigms and communities)
FET PROACT-EIC-08 (Environmental Intelligence)

Research Infrastructures – Original submission deadline 17.03.2020, new submission deadline 14.05.2020:

INFRAIA-02-2020 (Integrating Activities for starting communities)
INFRAIA-03-2020 (Pilot for a new model of Integrating activities)
INFRAINNOV-03-2020 (Co-Innovation platform for research infrastructure technologies)
INFRAINNOV-04-2020 (Innovation Pilots)
INFRASUPP-02-2020 (Strengthening the human capital of Research Infrastructures)

Research Infrastructures – Original submission deadline 22.04.2020, new submission deadline 18.06.2020 (already changed in the course of the adoption of the Digital Strategy on 19 February 2020):

INFRAEOSC-03-2020 (Integration and consolidation of the existing pan-European access mechanism to public research infrastructures and commercial services through the EOSC Portal)
INFRAEOSC-07-2020 (Increasing the service offer of the EOSC Portal

SC1 Health – Original submission deadline 07.04.2020, new submission deadline 15.04.2020:

All topics within the call H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020

SWAFS (Science with and for Society) – all topics with the original submission deadline 15 April 2020, new submission deadline 23 April 2020

Innovation in SMEs -Original submission deadline 02.04.2020, new submission deadline 15.04.2020:

INNOSUP-01-2018-2020 (Cluster facilitated projects for new industrial value chains)

ICT – A possible extension of the submission deadline for the topic DT-ICT-12-2020 (AI for the smart hospital of the future) is under discussion.

Please also note that the IT Helpdesk which provides technical support for the Funding & Tenders Portal points out that it currently works “in non-standard remote operation, which could introduce some handling delays”.

Further information:

» Information about updates in the Funding & Tenders Portal

Source : EC & KoWi, 20.3.2020