Summary of the sixth ExCo meeting

The sixth meeting of the ECPGR Executive Committee (ExCo) was held 8-10 December 2014 at Bioversity International,  Maccarese, Rome (Italy).

A summary of the main points of discussion and decisions is given below.

Selection of successful Grant Scheme proposals
The ExCo approved for funding eight proposals for activities that were submitted under the Grant Scheme. These involve the following nine WGs: Barley, Beta, Brassica, Forages, Malus/Pyrus, Prunus, Wheat, Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves and Documentation and Information.

Financial situation of ECPGR
The financial balance of ECPGR in 2014 was estimated to be positive, with extra funds (approximately € 80 000) raised partly by receiving outstanding contributions related to previous phases and partly through savings made in 2014. The ExCo decided to propose to the SC to allocate these funds as follows:

  • Meeting devoted to on-farm concept (12.5%)
  • Documentation and Information meeting on Crop Portals (12.5%)
  • Reserve fund (37.5%)
  • Grant Scheme activities (37.5%)

Future calls for proposals under the Grant Scheme
A second call for proposals under the ECPGR Grant Scheme will be launched in April 2015, making available approximately € 145 000. Subsequently, a third and a fourth calls of similar size are expected to be launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Appointment of new Working Group Chairs
Chairs for the Working Groups were selected on the basis of nominations received from the National Coordinators and of Expressions of Interests received from the nominated candidates.
The following Chairs were appointed:

  • Avena: Andreas Katsiotis (Cyprus)
  • Barley: Ahmed Jahoor (Denmark)
  • Brassica: Ferdinando Branca (Italy)
  • Cucurbits: María José Díez (Spain)
  • Fibre crops (Flax and Hemp): Martin Pavelek (Czech Republic)
  • Forages: Anna Palmé (NordGen)
  • Grain Legumes: Creola Brezeanu (Romania)
  • Malus/Pyrus: Marc Lateur (Belgium)
  • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Ana Maria Barata (Portugal)
  • Prunus: Daniela Giovannini (Italy)
  • Solanaceae: Willem van Dooijeweert (The Netherlands)
  • Umbellifer Crops: Charlotte Allender (United Kingdom)
  • Vitis: Thierry Lacombe (France)
  • Wheat: François Balfourier (France)
  • Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves: Nigel Maxted (United Kingdom)
  • On-farm Conservation and Management: Valeria Negri (Italy)
  • Documentation and Information: Theo van Hintum (The Netherlands)

In the case of the Allium, Beta, Leafy Vegetables and Potato Working Groups, there were no candidates expressing interest to become Chair. Therefore, the ExCo, in consultation with the previous Chairs and Vice-Chairs, will seek to identify suitable candidates from the list of members and propose their appointment as soon as possible. Performance of all the Chairs will be evaluated by the ExCo, who will reserve itself the opportunity to propose changes at the Mid Term Steering Committee meeting.

In order to give support to the development of AEGIS, the ExCo encouraged the Secretariat to write a paper highlighting with clear evidence what the benefits of AEGIS would be for the member countries. The Secretariat was also invited to liaise with countries in the process of implementing AEGIS with targeted help and provision of information on the necessary steps.

Horizon 2020

The ExCo supported the current engagement of the Secretariat for the preparation of a project proposal for the Horizon 2020 Call SFS-07b-2015 “Management and sustainable use of genetic resources”.

ECPGR strategy

The ExCo agreed on the need to prepare an ECPGR strategy including a vision for the next ten years that would enable progress towards the long-term goal of ECPGR.  

Mid-term Steering Committee meeting
The Mid-term Steering Committee meeting was scheduled for Spring 2016. The Secretariat will explore convenient options for a suitable location.

Farewell to Gert Kleijer
This was the last meeting for the ExCo Chair Gert Kleijer, who is retiring at the end of the year. He received notes of thanks and appreciation from the ExCo and the Secretariat, also on behalf of the SC, for his long-lasting dedicated work for ECPGR. Eva Thörn will start her term as new ExCo Chair as of January 2015.