A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) headquartered at the University of Adelaide and the European Infrastructure for Plant Phenotyping (EMPHASIS) coordinated at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, has formalised the two organisations’ commitment to cooperate on enabling crop improvement via advancements in plant phenotyping.

Closer collaboration between APPF and EMPHASIS will lead to greater research efficiencies based on ‘standard’ profiles for experiment documentation and data, shared technical innovations, greater project cooperation and avoiding research duplication.

The agreement establishes joint principles for collaboration and agreed sets of standards that will benefit the plant science and plant phenotyping communities in Europe and Australia.

University of Adelaide Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg sees great value in the partnership.

“Sharing knowledge is fundamental to progressing innovation in plant phenomics and this MOU has been drafted by both parties to establish the framework within which our cooperation can be developed,” he says.

“We are looking forward to working together via virtual events, workshops and seminars.”

APPF Chief Executive Officer Richard Dickmann declared that APPF is excited about working closely with its European equivalent.

“The agreement recognises the world-class capabilities of the APPF and will have benefits for Australian farmers, regional communities and people choosing a career linked to agricultural research,” he said.

“We are now establishing a working committee to implement our pathway forwards.”

EMPHASIS coordinator Professor Ulrich Schurr, from the Research Centre Jülich, noted that Australia and Europe have worked hand-in-hand to pioneer modern plant phenotyping over the last decade.

“We are excited to further extend this very successful cooperation and strengthen the connection between plant phenotyping researchers from APPF with the European plant phenotyping community organised by EMPHASIS,” he said.

Photo At Top: (L to R) University of Adelaide Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Anton Middelberg, APPF Chief Executive Officer Richard Dickmann and EMPHASIS coordinator Professor Ulrich Schurr signing the Memorandum of Understanding in Australia and Germany respectively.

APPF is supported by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and hosted by the University of Adelaide.