RUSTICA project meeting held in Angers

The RUSTICA Project held its eighth project meeting at the scenic Terra Botanica Park and the Chamber of Agriculture Pays de la Loire in Angers, France. The two-day event brought together key stakeholders to discuss progress, share insights, and plan the next steps in advancing sustainable agricultural practices.

The first day commenced with a welcome session led by Liesbet Vranken from KU Leuven, setting the tone for a series of detailed progress reports from various regional leads. Fien Amery of EV ILVO presented updates on the Flanders region, covering field trials, quality management of blends, and the status of the pilot plant activities. Guadalupe Lopez from TECNOVA provided insights into the Almeria region’s ongoing field trials and blend performance. Céline Marjolet from CRAPDL discussed regional-specific technological advancements and future plans for the Pays de la Loire region, while Claudio Mondini of CREA detailed the progress of field trials and blend specifications for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

The afternoon sessions focused on broader business and development themes. Dominik Jasinski from Particula led discussions on business models and economic analysis. Erika De Keyser presented findings from a survey on fertiliser preferences in Valle del Cauca. KU Leuven led a session on Agent Based Modelling, presenting the ABM Flanders and discussing next steps. This was followed by a regional stakeholder workshop led by EV ILVO, focusing on stakeholder involvement. Adelheid Wiedemann from WIED then provided updates on legal developments and future perspectives, concluding the day’s sessions. The day concluded with a consortium dinner, providing an opportunity for informal networking.

The second day featured in-depth sessions on the replicability of business models and global collaborations. Erika De Keyser and Tessa Avermaete from KU Leuven explored the outcomes of EU and global workshops on replicability and outlined a roadmap for nutrient exchange between regions. Macarena Sanz from IDC led a session on communication, where she updated KPIs and discussed strategies for exploiting RUSTICA results until the end of the project and beyond, including topics related to publications and IPR. Tessa Avermaete presented updates on global collaborations and the development of policy briefs.

The meeting concluded with a focus on project management led by Tessa Avermaete and Margo Heremans from KU Leuven, followed by a cross-visit and inauguration of an exhibition pilot.

The RUSTICA project continues to make significant strides in developing sustainable bio-based fertilisers from agricultural by-products, fostering regional collaboration, and setting a precedent for future agricultural innovations. The next steps will involve furthering these discussions and implementing the strategies outlined during this productive meeting.



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