Colbics is a Marie-Curie Project supporting the collaboration between academic and commercial sectors on the development of biological control solutions to manage crop pests.

Three companies developing biological control solutions (natural enemies of crop pests) and three universities or research institutes tightly collaborate on common R&D programs, in an attempt to find new R&D methods and ultimately setup new or improved products, as well as optimized production and quality-control or traceability methods.

The three companies involved: Biobest (Belgium), InVivo Agrosolutions (IAS, France) and Anasac-Xilema (Chile).

The three academic partners: INRA (France), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (UPV, Spain) and Universidad Catolica de Chile (UC, Chile).

In practice, Colbics is structured in three R&D teams in the context of the R&D programs of the three companies involved:

  • the team Biobest-UPV-INRA 
  • the team IAS-INRA-UC
  • the team Anasac-Xilema-UC-INRA

Illustration-INRA (3)

Four axes of innovation are considered in Colbics:

  • The use of DNA characterisation techniques to assist the research of new biological control solutions, and support quality-control or traceability in industrial production settings.
  • The screening and use of intra-specific diversity to select best-performing  natural enemy populations and improve the efficiency of biocontrol products.
  • The promotion of biocontrol products through the benchmark of products and their compatibility with other crop protection techniques.
  • The design of informatic tools helping farm-advisors, producers and biological control companies to optimize their use of biological control solutions in Integrated Pest Management packages.

The work carried out is further used to generate generic knowledge on evolutionary and ecological processes likely to be relevant in the frame of the development of production of biological control solutions.

Expected outcomes of Colbics are of several types: 
  • for the commercial sector: new biological control products or packages of products, improved production methods, quality-control and traceability procedures, increased sales.
  • for the public sector: characterisation of unknown biodiversity of pests and natural enemies, tests of evolutionary and ecological hypotheses, development of model-based predictive methods.
Colbics is a IAPP project.

IAPP Project are part of the Marie-Curie Actions (Programme "People") of the European Research Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Marie Curie Actions have build up Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) to help public and private research to work together. Partners include universities and companies of all shapes and sizes. The partners altogether propose a project based on a joint cooperation programme. The industrial partners must be operating on a commercial basis. Focussing on joint research projects, IAPPs aim to boost skills exchange between the commercial and non-commercial sectors.

The research project of the IAPP team should promote a strategic research partnership, which can be co-ordinated by either an industrial or an academic participant. All scientific and technological research fields of interest to the EU are welcomed by the IAPP team.

If your project is selected, you will be funded for 4 years and will receive 100% funding for labour costs. The EU funding covers: 

  • Exchange of know-how and experience through two-way or one-way secondments of research staff between the industrial and academic partners
  • Recruitment of experienced researchers from outside the partnership, for involvement in the transfer of knowledge and/ or the training of researchers
  • Networking, workshops and conferences involving external researchers as well as the partners’ own research staff.

Strong strategic partnerships are what the IAPP programme is all about. It is looking for long-term, targeted knowledge sharing and staff mobility between the public and private sector partners.

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