General Meeting Statement: Achievements and Future of EPSO, 1.9.2013
EPSO, the European Plant Science Organisation, is an independent academic organisation currently representing 72 institutional members bringing together more than 220 research institutes, departments and universities from 30 countries in Europe and beyond.
EPSO’s mission is to improve the impact and visibility of plant science in Europe. EPSO's top priorities are to facilitate the understanding of plant science, to boost funding for basic research and to coordinate research activities at the national and European levels - and beyond.
The association was founded in 2000 to represent the needs and interests of European plant science. Since then, it discusses with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and national politicians recommendations on European and global science policy.
EPSO was and continues to be a key driver to ensure that appropriate funding in terms of content and critical mass is available for plant research in European Research programmes (FP6, FP7, and now Horizon 2020) and to foster ERA-NETs in plant sciences, being observer of the ERA-Net on Molecular Plant Sciences (ERA-CAPS).
In 2004, EPSO together with EuropaBio started one of the first European Technology Platforms 'Plants for the Future' (Plant ETP). In 2007 the platform published its Strategic Research Agenda presenting a vision of plant research for the next 20 years and identifying challenges for Europe’s society and economy to which the plant sector can contribute. Today Plant ETP is composed of ESA and individual companies from industries, EPSO representing academia, and CopaCogeca bringing in the farming communities. Jointly they develop Action Plans on Research, Innovation and on Education and work on their implementation at the European and national levels to promote and advocate strategic research and internationally competitive research and innovation.
EPSO has one NGO, two European industrial organisations and individual companies as observers. It collaborates with ten national learned societies in plant biology under a Memorandum of Understanding, with other European science organisations in the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE), plant science organisations worldwide in the Global Plant Council (GPC). Since 2011 EPSO works with FAO and African scientists towards longer term partnerships in plant science for sustainable agriculture in Developing countries.
EPSO organises a biannual conference that is one of the top plant science events not to be missed. After Switzerland (2002), Italy (2004), Hungary (2006), France (2008) and Finland (2010) the next EPSO conference is taking place from 1-4 September 2013 in Porto Heli, Greece. Scientists from Europe and other continents will present and discuss cutting edge science. Together with no-plant scientists they will build an interface to new areas.
EPSO membership is open to universities and research institutions conducting research in the field of plant science (institutional membership) worldwide, as well as to individuals interested in plant science (personal membership). This latest opportunity is open to all nationalities, professions, career stages and age groups worldwide.
Imagine a world without plants! Not very attractive, is it?
EPSO WILL COOPERATE WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO ADVANCE THESE GOALS.