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Plant nutrition Innovation Awards open for applications

Two plant nutrition research project to be awarded a total of €120,000 euros this year

The 2018 Innovation Awards organised by French plant nutrition company, Groupe Roullier, headquartered in Saint-Malo, France will reward two researchers or research laboratories from across the world working in that field. The aim of this prize is to promote scientific collaboration and innovation and to develop research activities in fields related to the sponsor’s area of focus. Field of interest include: plant nutrition, natural plant and marine substances, soil life and soil science, biostimulation and biocontrol as well as biotechnology and plant engineering.

Each of the two Competition winners will be offered the opportunity to develop their own research project over the course of a year in collaboration with Groupe Roullier with €60,000 of funding, each.

An international jury of experts will evaluate the proposals. Members of the jury include Heitor Cantarella, director of the Agronomic Institute of Campinas, Brazil, Christophe Salon, research director at INRA and Director of GEAPSI department in France, Nicolaus Von Wiren, director of the department molecular plant nutrition at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany, Jean-Claude Yvin, R&D director of plant nutrition at Groupe Roullier, France, and Nicolas Vermersch, director general of the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier, France.

The award ceremony will take place at the Roullier Group headquarter in Saint-Malo, France, in June 2018. The creation of this competition follows on from the opening of the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier–the World Innovation Centre Roullier–at the end of 2015. A true driver of growth and a major player in the field of plant and animal nutrition, it brings together around one hundred doctors and researchers from across the globe. Its opening also accelerated the number of international scientific partnerships, which increased from 70 to more than 100 in just a few months.

Previous winners include the following. In 2001, the Groupe Roullier Innovation Awards rewarded two projects. The first, the team of professor Esquerré-Tugayé’s from Toulouse University’s laboratory of plant and microorganisms interactions, was rewarded for its research in genomics regarding the expression of various genes relating to the defense and metabolism of plants of agronomic interest. The second went to the team from the laboratory of electrophysiology at the University of Florence, Italy, who was rewarded for the development of a new technology using electrodes that allows the root and foliar absorption of mineral elements in crops to be monitored. This innovative technique was used to validate the effects of two Groupe Roullier products on potassium channels and the absorption of the fertiliser.

More recently, in 2005 the prize was awarded to the team from the Rothamsted Agricultural Research Centre for its work on sulphur transporters in cereals. It resulted in the strengthening of the Groupe Rouiller’s sulphuric fertiliser activity with a marine substance promoting sulphur root absorption and its transformation into sulphur-containing amino acids such as those found in cereals, plants of the cruciferae family, etc.

Candidates can submit their projects on the dedicated website by 31th March 2018.

Photo credit: Sushobhan Badhai via Unplash.

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