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Belgium: VIB acquires CropDesign site from BASF and launches its first agricultural biotechnology incubator


VIB, a leading life sciences institute in Flanders, has signed an agreement with BASF to acquire its CropDesign site in Nevele, Belgium. VIB and CropDesign have had a close scientific relationship for more than 15 years. CropDesign, currently part of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division, was established in 1998 as a VIB spinoff and has grown into a biotech company specializing in plant phenotyping technology. The divesture includes site infrastructure and intellectual property. All former CropDesign employees found new jobs within or outside BASF.


Israel: Functional Phenotyping of Plant Response to Abiotic Stress


Denmark: Collaborative SUSWHEAT project receives funding from Independent Research Fund Denmark


The SUSWHEAT project combines globally leading research expertise on wheat from complementary teams at Copenhagen and Aarhus University, China and the UK, creating a strong partnership to dissect the resilience mechanisms in response to future climate. The collaborative project has recently been granted funding from the Independent Research Fund Denmark.


Italy: First call for access to national phenotyping infrastructures launching soon


In early 2021, Phen-Italy (the Italian Network of Plant Phenotyping Infrastructures) will launch the first call for access to the national plant phenotyping infrastructures. The applicants are requested to submit a project proposal aiming at answering a clear scientific question and/or addressing a technological challenge in the field of plant phenotyping. The project proposals will be evaluated by a Commission of independent experts. More information will be circulated in January 2021 on


Netherlands: Two new gantries installed in NPEC greenhouse

NPEC gantries

The gantries will allow multispectral imaging, 3D scanning and high-resolution thermal imaging of plants as well as a combination of multispectral- and thermal imaging with gravimetric phenotyping to study plant water household.


Norway: Application submitted for the Norwegian Plant Phenotyping Platform (PheNo)


The plant research community in Norway has joined forces and submitted a national infrastructure proposal to establish the Norwegian Plant Phenotyping Platform (PheNo).


Spain: New user-friendly application for smallholder farmers for detection of plant diseases and nutritional disorders


The University of Barcelona in partnership with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) are developing a smartphone-based, user-friendly application for smallholder farmers from the MENA region (Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) aiming to identify major biotic and abiotic stresses in key relevant herbaceous crops.


Landmark study: First genomic atlas for global wheat improvement

In a landmark discovery for global wheat production, an international team has sequenced the genomes for 15 wheat varieties representing breeding programmes from around the world.

Press release (PDF)


Ireland: New PlantScreen System at University College Dublin

New PlantScreen system at University College Dublin

University College Dublin (UCD-Ireland) has acquired a PlantScreen system from Photon System Instruments (PSI) with the financial support of Science Foundation Ireland Future Research Leaders Programme (SFI-FRL) awarded to Dr. Sónia Negrão.


Australia: International collaboration targets plant-based vaccine development

Plant phenomics is helping optimise biotechnology for plant-based vaccine development in a new research collaboration between Australia’s Australian National University (ANU) and Canadian biopharmaceutical company, Medicago R&D Inc.

Press release (PDF)


Your participation needed: Global Plant Phenotyping Survey 2020/21

Phenotyping Survey

For the past six years, IPPN and EMPHASIS have carried out their bi-annual "Plant Phenotyping Surveys". They cover basic and advanced questions related to plant phenotyping for the purpose of assessing the status of global plant phenotyping and emerging fields. The surveys address participants from all geographic regions and in all professional disciplines in any way related to plant phenotyping.


International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF) launches website


The new website of the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF) is now online. The IBF was launched in 2016 by the European Commission and provides a platform for international communication and cooperation regarding the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. Members are the European Commission, Argentina, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, South Africa and USA.


Series of animated movies

Scribble movies

We are excited to present the EMPHASIS Scribble Series: three short animated videos produced in scribble style illustrate the basic concepts of research infrastructures, why we do plant phenotyping and what EMPHASIS is all about.


First services for researchers as EMPHASIS moves into implementation phase


Earlier this year, EMPHASIS has reached an important milestone: the establishment of the Interim General Assembly (IGA), a board of ten countries that have formally declared their intention of moving EMPHASIS towards operation. 


Phenomics Webinars User Survey

PW User Survey

We are constantly striving to improve our webinar series and would very much appreciate your feedback.


Phenome Emphasis Prolonged Until 2025


The French infrastructure Phenome Emphasis has been officially prolonged until 2025, with an extra funding of EUR 5 million.


Nordic Network NordPlant Prolonged for Three Years


The Nordic network NordPlant has been prolonged until 2023 with funding from NordForsk.


Computer Vision Problems in Plant Phenotyping (CVPPP) 2020


This year’s CVPPP was held alongside the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) on Friday 28 August online.


Presentation material of the Nordic Plant Phenotyping field day available online

The Nordic Plant Phenotyping field day that was held here at NMBU on 17 June. This is an annual get-together for plant breeders and scientists in the Nordic countries to get in touch with field phenotyping activities and learn about the latest development.


Industry News:  Agronomix Software & Progeny Drone launch strategic alliance on UAS data integration to accelerate plant breeding and agronomic research

Leading Agricultural Research Software company teams with fast-growing startup on integrating outputs from its unique image stitching and data extraction application for images from Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS, also referred to as UAVs).


Interdrought 2020 congress proceedings now online

Interdrought 2020

Interdrought 2020, organized by CIMMYT and the University of Queensland, was scheduled to take place in Mexico City in March 2020. As it was not possible to proceed with face-to-face meetings due to the travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizing committee delivered the scientific program online.


Sixth and final call for application for transnational access to European plant phenotyping facilities


EPPN2020 has just launched its sixth call for application for transnational access, open to European groups but also open (to a limited extent) to groups originating from emerging countries or international research centers. The call closes on 26th of October 2020.


Launch of Phenomics Webinars

Phenomics Webinars

To compensate for the cancellation of many scientific conferences and opportunities to discuss latest developments in the field, the plant phenotyping initiatives IPPN, EPPN2020 and EMPHASIS are launching a webinar series on plant phenotyping. We are looking for contributions from researchers from all phenotyping-related fields.


The EMPHASIS Photo Competition

EMPHASIS Photo Competition

It’s competition time: EMPHASIS is launching a photo competition in plant phenotyping in collaboration with IPPN and sponsored by LemnaTech and DPPN. Send us your best plant phenotyping photos and be in for a chance of winning a high-end camera!


Special issue on Statistics, Bioinformatics, and Machine Learning Methods in Phenomics

Plant Phenomics is pleased to announce a special issue on Statistics, Bioinformatics, and Machine Learning Methods in Phenomics.

Submission Deadline: April 1st, 2020


Call for papers: "Plant Phenomics And Precision Agriculture"

PLOS ONE is calling for papers on plant phenomics and precision agriculture research. The deadline for submission is 5 June 2020.