Crag News

ERC-‘Proof of Concept’ project awarded to study adaption of plants to climate change

Ana I. Caño-Delgado will receive 150.000 € to explore the commercial potential of their ground-breaking research

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a prestigious 'Proof of Concept' (PoC) Grant to Ana I. Caño-Delgado, CSIC researcher and distinguished investigator at CRAG leading the Brassinosteroid signaling in plant development laboratory.

The project, entitled “PLANeT - PLant AdaptioN to Elevated Temperatures: mitigating crop losses caused by climate change” will be funded with 150.000 € and it will be developed during the following 18 months. 

The project will use new and disruptive strategies for targeting plant adaption to climate stress by using cell-type-specific genes that counteract the stress without penalizing growth of crops. Researchers will set up an effective method to fast-screen thousands of molecules as active ingredients for enhancing crops’ tolerance to elevated temperatures.

The Proof of Concept grant scheme is open only to researchers who are or have previously been awarded ERC frontier research grants. These top-up grants help to explore the commercial or societal potential of the findings researchers made through their ERC projects. The objective is to enable ERC-funded ideas to progress on the path from ground-breaking research towards innovation. Indeed, the PLANeT project will translate the research know-how generated during ERC-Consolidator Grant “IDRICA” into cereals which are the main crops affected by drought, with special emphasis in sorghum, an emerging cereal in Europe, for the benefit of agriculture and food security.

Global warming is responsible for an increase in temperature that causes a decrease of 40% on average in agricultural productivity globally, triggering important economic losses and posing a threat on global sustainably and food security. This, together to other stressors such as population growth, estimated at 81 million people per year for the next decade, magnify the food security challenge putting at high risk the human right to food. 

«This PoC grant is essential for the successful implementation of our technology, while giving us the impulse and visibility to leverage our findings into the agrochemical industry», says Ana I. Caño-Delgado, leader of the recently awarded ERC-PoC project.


Project details:

Topic: ERC-2022-POC1
Type of Action: HORIZON-ERC-POC (HORIZON ERC Proof of Concept Grants)
Proposal ID: 101069461
Proposal acronym: PLANeT
Proposal title: PLant AdaptioN to Elevated Temperatures: mitigating crop losses caused by climate change