The Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (CRH) has succeeded in Excellent Research grant call of the Operational Program Science, Research and Education. With a project called Plants as the means of sustainable global development, it ranked seventh among the top 15 projects. In the years to come, CRH can account with financial support of CZK 361 million. The money is intended to support research in the field of Biotechnology, it will also enable acquisition of new equipment, recruiting scientific reinforcements as well as cooperation with scientific institutions abroad.
Researchers in CRH strive to gain new knowledge and to develop techniques that will enable cultivation of economically important crops with higher yields and greater resilience to unfavorable climatic conditions, especially drought. “The aim of the project is to gain knowledge about the regulation of growth and yield, the formation of characteristics and signs; and stress adaptation of plants, which are the main food source of humanity. We are able to validate the results of laboratory research in Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry with experiments in growth chambers, in greenhouses and then directly in the field,” said CRH Director and Dean of the Faculty of Science, Ivo Frébort.
The project will also bring new equipment, including the latest generation DNA sequencer, super-high resolution fluorescence microscope for plant cell study, or unmanned helicopter with aviation scanner, which will assess the speed and growth rate of the biomass in the field conditions. CRH will also strengthen links to top partner research centers in the UK, Sweden, Spain, France, the US and Saudi Arabia.
The second scientific center of the Faculty of Science with which CRH cooperates and prepares joint projects – Regional Center of Advanced Technologies and Materials, will also receive European grant support. In the grant competition, 130 Czech research teams have competed for six billion crowns. In the first wave five billion were divided among the top 15 research centers. The implementation of projects will begin next spring and will end by October 2022. The cost of projects are covered from 85% by the European Union, from 10% by the state budget, and 5% is paid by the grant applicant.