The “COUSIN” project is launched, with Christian Schöb coordinating the consortium of 25 partners from 12 different countries and coordinated by Christian Schöb and Felipe Ortega. It is a project that brings together two major areas of knowledge within the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The kick-off meeting took place on February 7 and 8, 2024.
It is a project of Cluster 6 of the Horizon Europe programme, which will focus on the study of crop wild relatives. Five flagship crops will be studied: wheat, barley, pea, lettuce and brassicas.
As our distinguished researcher in the area of biodiversity and conservation at the URJC and affiliated to the URJC’s new Global Change Research Institute points out.
“As the current demonstrations by farmers across Europe and the restrictions on water use due to drought in the middle of winter in several autonomous communities show, agriculture is facing enormous challenges. One of them is more sustainable production of our food. The transition of agriculture can be facilitated by new crop varieties that promote sustainability and offer greater resistance to pests, diseases or drought. This transition can also be achieved through improved crop qualities or by allowing variations in cultivation, such as intercropping, that promote efficient use of resources and beneficial interactions between organisms.
To facilitate access to information on priority characteristics and corresponding CWR accessions, a user-friendly data portal will be created. All collected data will be made available for integration into national and international repositories.