The Genetic Utilization of the Plants in the Pannon Region GINOP 2.2.1-15 2017-00042

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On 30th September 2016 the Consortium proposed a tender under the title “Genetic Utilization of Plants in the Pannon Region” (A Pannon növényeinek genetikai hasznosítása) to the National Research, Development and Innovation Office and to the Ministry of National Economy at the framework of the GINOP-2.2.1-15 Program. The project received more than 1,6 billion HUF non-refundable financial support.

The leader of the consortium is the Törökszentmiklós Mezőgazdasági LTD., and the members of the consortium are also the University of Debrecen, the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Cereal Research Non-profit Public Benefit LTD. and the Forest Science Institute of the University of Sopron.

The budget for the program is 1.902.239.337 HUF. According to the proposed tender the financial support is 1.604.232.583 HUF. The remaining 298.006.754 HUF was funded by TM Zrt in order to complete the project. The intensity of financial support is 84,33%.

The project begun on August 11, 2017 and will run until December 29, 2021. In the forthcoming 4 years, during the implementation of the project, the 22 research themes with 160 researchers and technical personnel shall conduct experiments with plants and develop different technologies and methods with the purpose to preserve the genetic pool of the Pannon region, while also considering the different marketing options. The research takes place in the “Tudásközpont” (Knowledge Centre) at Törökszentmiklós, and in the research facilities of the other members of the Consortium.

Research and development activities under the project aims at achieving 6 important goals:

1. Greenhouse farming: as a result of the project, a selected stock of arboreal and perennial herbaceous varieties is obtained, which can be successfully applied in the re-cultivation of degraded areas due to their drought and salt tolerance.
2. Genetic research of crops suitable for the utilization in sensitive areas: designation of genetic lines of plants suitable for sensitive ecological arable production of crops.
3. Phytoremediation research, energy plants, remediation of soil: Main task of the subprogram is to select the most efficient species and to elaborate methods for treatment of polluted soils with phytoremediation and chemical tests.
4. Plants grown for their active substance: the aim of the subprogram is to utilize primarily domestic (indigenous and of foreign origin but domesticated at least for 20 years) and some of the introduced herb species as genetic sources.
5. Crop protection – Information technology: the goal of the sub-program is to establish a network cooperation among research groups supported by information technology. This unique initiative in Hungary can be a groundbreaking development in horticultural research methodology.
6. Agro-economic research: The research is intended to create an agro-economic base for the project. On one hand, it aims at assessing consumer demands for planned horticultural products and determine the consumer market and segment in which they can be traded and map potential sales channels. On the other hand, the project aims to identify the expected profit per product by using cost-benefit analyses.

During the project, the following objectives/investments/upgrades have been completed:

• Establishing a research infrastructure: The Knowledge Center “Tudáspark” lab facility will be established at Törökszentmiklósi Mezőgazdasági Zrt., by constructing and renovating an existing building.
• As part of the Knowledge Center renovation of a 500 m2 Climate House will be completed along with the procurement of research and lab equipment and machines. In the climate house diverse climate conditions will be modelled which will serve as base for several researches.
• A container site and an area for species selection will also be developed as part of the Knowledge Center.
• Creating a basis for Information Technology
• Establishing a plant protecting system

The other goal of the project is to utilize the plants genetic sources in the market, primarily in those areas that have similar climate to the Pannon region.
The target area is the middle part of the CIS countries, with cca. 3.500.000 km2 land. Since it is not possible in these territories to utilize the plants in a traditional way, the research also explores the different development ways to utilize the Hungarian plants in different climatic and environmental conditions.(e.g. salination of soil, radioactive and heavy metal pollution, oil pollution)

Cities close to the old “silk road” in Middle-Asia have gone through a significant economic and demographic development. Their development requires investments in the life standards of the societies. Our program can support this process in the region.