Building on the popularity of Greenwich Biopesticide Events in 2013 and 2014, Thursday 9th April 2015 will see the return of the successful venture at the University of Greenwich, London, whose theme this year will be 'Where is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Europe?'
These events aim to explore biopesticides by posing the 'what', the 'how' and the 'where' – but firstly, what exactly IS a biopesticide, why does it need a series of events, and how is this linked to IPM? 'Biopesticide' is short for 'biological pesticide' – a substance used for controlling pests made from natural products or micro-organisms, as opposed to the more conventional synthetic or chemical pesticide. Reducing the use of chemical pesticides is a practice of IPM, an ecosystems approach to crop production and protection that combines different management strategies and practices to grow healthy crops – a guiding principal of NRI's European Centre for Integrated Pest Management (EUCIPM).
The main benefits of biopesticides over the conventional kind is that they are environmentally friendly, leaving no harmful residues; they're biodegradable, and can be cheaper and more effective than chemical pesticides.
In the wake of the EU legislation in 2009 which banned certain 'active substances' of chemical ingredients in pesticides in Europe, the topic of biopesticides in the region has come to the forefront, and promises huge potential. Indeed, the theme of the pioneer 2013 Biopesticide event was 'Biopesticides – the next big growth in the agricultural sector with market potential estimated at USD 1 billion by 2017'.
The follow-up event in 2014, subtitled 'Making Integrated Pest Management work for farmers and growers', asked how biopesticides and other IPM technologies can help farmers, whilst investigating any possible barriers to implementation of the EU directive on IPM.
This year's event is for taking stock and for looking to the future, as the pressure rises for European farmers to have implemented crop protection activities based on principles of IPM by the end of 2014, as stipulated by the EU directive.
Once more this free event is aimed at the whole IPM and biopesticide technology community, encompassing farmers, researchers, manufacturers, suppliers, environmental groups, and regulatory and governmental organisations. The event is organised by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and NRI's European Centre for IPM (EUCIPM), in partnership with the Bio-Resources Group of SCI, a science and business forum.
As in previous years, the day will include a mixture of plenary presentations, several shorter 'pitch' presentations from researchers and technology companies, and a 'brokerage' session where participants can take part in 1:1 pre-planned meetings aimed at future collaborations.
Keynote speakers offering expert insights into the world of biopesticides and IPM will be: Dr. Margareta Hökeberg, Director of the Centre for Biological Control, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Professor Nick Birch, from the James Hutton Institute, Scotland.
Register now to take part in this growing event!