InnoVar will develop next generation plant variety testing by building tools and models that augment current practices capitalising on advances in genomics, phenomics, imaging technologies and machine learning. This project will unite will multiple industries, government bodies and stakeholders to make a significant contribution to feeding an increasing global population in the face of global climate change. The outcome of InnoVar will be new crop varieties with more desirable characteristics in a changing environment with modern testing and regulation systems that will protect plant breeders, consumers and farmers.
The InnoVar database, populated with historical and de novo genotypic, phenotypic and environmental data will facilitate model development and evaluation for revision of DUS and VCU processes. Innovative ways to measure DUS characters will be evaluated. VCU testing procedures will be revised and shaped to comprehensively address variability in growing conditions, stresses and management approaches. Processes for identifying optimally-adapted varieties and delivering information to farmers, end-users and stakeholders will be put in place.
InnoVar will focus on wheat initially, and apply the InnoVar approach to other major crops. Developments and advances achieved will also influence breeding processes. This project will take variety information to the next level in four ways:
- – Providing information on new DUS and VCU characters and identifying synergies;
- – Developing varieties with proven suitability for the various growing scenarios;
- – Making this information available to farmers throughout the EU, and
- – Disseminating the information in readily accessible and easily updated digital formats.
Cutting-edge science will be integrated with tried and tested DUS and VCU processes to deliver an invigorated EU variety evaluation system capable of delivering increasingly productive and more sustainable cropping to meet the challenges arising from population growth, food security and climate change.