AGENT 3rd Progress meeting in Poland

On May 23-24, 2023, the H2020 AGENT project partners assembled in person for the 3rd Project Progress meeting. This time, the event was warmly hosted by IHAR-PIB near Warsaw, with 57 representatives from the project partners in attendance. The meeting was held as a hybrid event, providing opportunities for attendance to those project scientists who were unable to travel to Poland this time. Moreover, to expand the scientific exchange beyond the project AGENT boundaries, representatives of other H2020 call SFS-28-2019: Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities B: Adding value to plant GenRes (RIA) financed projects as well as of other partnering organizations were invited and presented at the meeting.

Following the welcome address of IHAR representative Grzegorz Żurek and project Coordinator Nils Stein, each work package presented its progress and scientific findings since the last meeting held in November 2022.

The scientific part of the meeting’s first day was concluded with a site visit to the IHAR gene bank, including the field area with the multiplications of genebank accessions as well as the phenotyping observations of AGENT material (e.g. precision collections, general check populations). The day closed with a delightful outdoor barbeque dinner providing ample opportunity for continued scientific discussion that were triggered by the presentations of the first day.

On the second day of the event, the participants resumed reviewing the project's progress. The meeting concluded with a presentation on results obtained during a Datathon, directly preceding the project meeting at IHAR-PIB, which was designed for capacity building of project partners for statistical analysis of early project results. The Datathon was organized and led by partner ICARDA. The AGENT project Progress Meeting was wrapped in a session moderated by the project Coordinator, highlighting the major achievements, but also identifying major action points for the upcoming months, and discussing further steps towards continued successful project implementation. With a sense of accomplishment, the participants went on an exciting excursion through the magnificent city of Warsaw.

After the demanding period of exclusively virtual events due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, all attendees appreciated the benefits of face-to-face and direct communication and eagerly anticipate the upcoming gathering in London at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew next year.