Our proposal Drought Response: from the field to the market, submitted under Horizon 2020’s SME instrument phase 1, passed all evaluation thresholds, and has been awarded the Horizon 2020 Seal of Excellence.
In May 2016, PlantResponse™ submitted the project proposal Drought Response: from the field to the market. The main objective of this project is to launch our product Neptunion® to the worldwide market, as a first-in-class natural product that can be used as a risk-prevention measure to reduce drought impact on agriculture. According to the FAO, pro-active risk-management measures and effective emergency response programs need to be directed at reducing the impacts of drought.
Research into the crucial role played by plant metabolites led to the discovery of Drought Response (Neptunion®), a natural plant metabolite that increases crop tolerance to drought, without affecting fitness cost in the case of drought absence. It could be the solution to promote a sustainable agricultural system that makes the most efficient use of water and reduces expensive and environmentally challenging inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides.
The project proposal was evaluated by an international panel of independent experts and was successfully judged an INNOVATIVE PROJECT PROPOSAL. The European Commission then delivered the ‘Seal of Excellence’ certificate to PlantResponse.
About the Seal of Excellence
The ‘-Seal of Excellence-‘ aims to help innovative companies to access and enhance the knowledge economy in their regionsthere by helping to implement smart specialization strategies. Every year, thousands of organizations in Europe apply to the Horizon 2020 Program. The European Commission runs one of the most thorough evaluation systems in the world, using international independent experts.
The evaluation screens against three defined criteria: (1) excellence, (2) impact and quality and (3) efficiency of implementation. It identifies proposals not mature enough to receive funding (below quality threshold) and those considers merit funding (above threshold). Only some of the proposals above the threshold receive funding, depending on the available Horizon 2020 budget. The ‘Seal of Excellence’ certificate is awarded to applicants above the threshold and not funded. It is a quality label, awarded to project proposals submitted for funding under Horizon 2020, passed all of the stringent selection and award criteria, but could not be funded under the available budget.