A few weeks after the official launch of the “REACT – Rapid Elimination of Invasive Agricultural Pest Outbreaks by Tackling them with Sterile Insect Technique Programmes” project, the international project team met at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen (coordinating institutions) to explore the possibilities of long-term, pesticide-free pest control methods in the context of crops.

The project team followed the invitation of the project coordinator and insect biotechnology expert, Prof Dr Marc Schetelig.

The project, funded by the European Commission, responds to the negative impact of insect infestations on vegetable and fruit production. As well as contributing to the development of basic research in the field of biotechnology, the researchers hope to gain information on how to deal with the two fly species Bactrocera dorsalis and Bactrocera zonata, which have recently become more prevalent in Europe.

The kick-off meeting took place between 18 and 20 January 2023, and included a first semi-public session in which members of the Board of Directors were invited to comment on the project’s strategies, methods, results and effects.

The project began in November 2022, with CEI-Iscte researchers Ana Larcher and Ulrich Schiefer as the team members representing the Centre for International Studies, a Research Centre based at Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon. The project is coordinated by Justus-Liebig-University Gießen and funded by Horizon Europe (Ref. 101059523).

Check the projects’ website for more information.