The project
PROTECTION: Innovative products, services and technologies for biological control and eco-sustainable defense in agriculture characterized by the codes F/050421/01/X32 – CUP: B48I17000540008 is financed by Ministry of Economic Development under Axis 1, action 1.1.3. of the National Operational Program “Enterprise and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 ERDF – in favor of research and development projects in the technological areas identified by the Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation

pursues several purposes that include the realization of innovative products, services and technologies for use in agriculture to promote and make more effective the use of biological control and sustainable defense strategies.

It is implemented by Cosvitec scarl, Spagro srl and the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection of the National Research Council

The overall goal of the project involves the realization of several macro-objectives:
The research, preparation and application of new bioformulates of natural origin (i.e., based on purified and/or mixed microorganisms, plants or their extracts) such as to ensure qualitative/quantitative improvement of the crops under consideration;
The implementation of appropriate methods for evaluating the persistence of bioformulates as well as appropriate IT tools for the proper phytosanitary management of agrochemicals;
The development, design and application of new diagnostic systems for the quality improvement of agri-food production.
The application of plasma technology to horticultural seeds for surface disinfection and performance improvement.

It is intended to obtain two devices for fast and reliable diagnosis of plant pathogens, specifically a prototype for multiple diagnosis of the main virosis of tomato and one for diagnosis of X. fastidiosa. The devices (the cartridges) will be read through a hardware interfaced with a smartphone, which with special application will provide the results of the cartridge reading with also quantitative indication of the analyzed pathogen.

The Protection Project has developed a trap for monitoring phytophages, improving sustainable defense strategies. The trap uses chromotropic and chemotropic lures to attract harmful insects and sensor technology to detect captures. Tests, conducted on various types of vegetables in the Mediterranean area, demonstrated efficacy against Tuta absoluta, but difficulties were encountered in monitoring Frankliniella occidentalis due to the lack of specific pheromones. Economic analysis indicated that production costs are similar to those of existing commercial traps.