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European Plant Breeding College (EPBC)


The Context

The European seed sector is facing major challenges in the years to come, especially growing world population and an increasing role of European food production, the impact of climate change and environmental stresses on agricultural production and the need for a more sustainable agricultural system. The European seed sector will therefore have to develop new high-yielding plant varieties and new seed innovations.

However, to tackle these challenges, the European seed sector will require well trained breeding project leaders with in-depth knowledge of both, traditional plant breeding techniques and biotechnological techniques, who can communicate between those two worlds, who have project management experience and who have had international experience to be able to grasp the bigger picture. Those profiles are currently very rare on the job market and are more and more asked for.

There is a strong need for this profile of human resources for the development of the European seed.

Description of the Program
The Goals

The University of Gent (Belgium), Ege University (Turkey), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden) and UniLaSalle (France) have decided to join forces to develop the European Plant Breeding College (EPBC) to :

  • share knowledge and experience for the benefit of their students ;
  • improve the academic quality of their Plant Breeding Master Programmes ;
  • improve the employability of their alumni ;
  • create a European dialogue with the seed sector on human resource policy ;
  • increase the excellence, international visibility and integration among European Plant Breeding education programmes ;
  • increase the number of joint projects among EPBC participants.
The Actions

To achieve these objectives, the EPBC will :

  • share knowledge and experience with their students via innovative teaching methods such as online courses, webinars and pilot cases ;
  • facilitate mobility of their students and immersion in new cultural contexts and teams through Intensive Study Programmes and joint Master thesis in the speciality of the partner universities ;
  • boost the transition of EPBC alumni from university to the labour market through a pan-European Internship Network and Alumni network ;
  • interact through Multiplier Events with prospective students, highschool teachers and professionnals from the seed sector ;
  • organise the Plant Breeding Award for the best Master thesis by an EPMC alumni.

As a result, the EPBC will contribute to the improvement of the European agriculture and food supply and the development of the seed sector in Europe and beyond, to a more competitive and sustainable agriculture.

About the Program

Start date :  September 1 2015

Ending date : August 31 2017

Program duration : 24 months


European Community contribution : 245 834 €

An Erasmus+ program

Id : 2015-1-FR01-KA203-015095

The participating institutions