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Get Involved in European Biotech Week 2015

European Biotech Week is an opportunity for all supporters of biotechnology to develop events, activities and initiatives that improve dialogue on and increase understanding of this amazing technology and the benefits it offers society. The third annual event will take place from 12 October to 18 October 2015 across European countries.

For inspiration about activities to run in 2015, please find out more about what happened during the previous editions browsing the interactive map of Europe available on www.biotechweek.org.

EuropaBio and its member national associations and companies encourage all biotech supporters to organise initiatives and events, both large and small, right across Europe throughout the week. National associations, companies, academic and government institutions, science museums and the media, as well as other biotech stakeholders can promote their activities on www.biotechweek.org by contacting c.popa@europabio.org and all will be featured in a post-week magazine distributed both online and on paper.


Plant Breeders Without Borders Pilot Project

Leddin and participants from PBWoB pilot project in Ethiopia.
Leddin and participants from PBWoB pilot project in Ethiopia.

Plant Breeders Without Borders is the concept of Anthony Leddin, an Australian plant breeder who has a keen interest in aid development. “I’ve been so fortunate and lucky to become a plant breeder,” Leddin says. “Now it is time to help in regions of the world that are not as fortunate.”

Leddin is very proud that Plant Breeders Without Borders debuted its first pilot project in Ethiopia in February 2015. In partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute in Addis Abba, the project focuses on improving forages for small livestock holders.

“Plant breeders have been very positive toward Plant Breeders Without Borders and want to volunteer,” Leddin says. “There is great interest from breeders who have been exposed to regions with poor agricultural areas … they know what it is like to see hunger.”

Today, Leddin is looking for “champions” in different regions of the world. These champions will help promote the importance of plant breeding and further the reach of the program.

“I have four universities in Australia that are interested in the undergraduate mentoring program,” Leddin says, noting that the universities are willing to provide funding to get the students on site. He also has government and non-government organisations interested in funding travel costs for plant breeders who sign up to work on Plant Breeders Without Borders projects.

Additionally, Crops for the Future, which is dedicated to the development of neglected and under-utilised plant species, has agreed to help Leddin determine and identify locations and plant species where a Plant Breeders Without Borders project can yield meaningful results. Other organisations Leddin hopes to bring on board include the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Australia Business Volunteers, The Crawford Fund and The Noble Foundation.

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