The 15th EU VCU seminar was held in Angers (France) the 23rd and 24th May 2023. The European VCU Platform brings together the official variety testing offices in charge of testing for Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) and can be attended by representatives from EU members or candidate countries and EFTA countries (countries that contribute or will contribute the Common Catalogue). For the meeting in May, there was 40 participants.
The main topics of the seminar were the following:
-A first session was dedicated on New developments in the different national VCU systems. Each volunteer examination office had the possibility to provide information on new developments in its VCU system. In this section Anna Giulini, responsible for registration of new variety of cereals in Italy and partner of the INNOVAR project, reported the study of maize new material and its phenotipic characterization (RGB camera).
-An important part of the seminar was dedicated to strengthening the consideration of sustainability issues in the VCU studies, especially the issues of adaptation to abiotic stresses created by climate change (resilience to temperature and water stresses). This theme was addressed by sharing experiences and points of view of the offices on the necessary evolutions for VCU systems, but also by the point of views of scientists. In this section Danilo Sarti, from INNOVAR project, reported the advancements in terms of machine learning to understand drought resistance.
During the visit of GEVES experimental station, some workshops was organized on sustainability aspects (abiotic and biotic factors).
In the seminar there was also time to discussion on the statute of the EU-VCU group; the discussion was based on the proposal made by the working group managed by CREA DC.
-A last session was dedicated to the evolution of the European PRM regulation with a discussion with representatives from European Commission and in link with the memorandum “Recommendations of Examination Offices regarding VCU testing in relation to sustainability objectives” written last year.