News and past events

Upcoming Events

June 2022

Leuven Plant Institute YoungLPI Seminar Series: Genesprout Initiative

On 15th June 2022, Genesprout Initiative has been invited to participate in the the Leuven Plant Institute YoungLPI Seminar Series. Our goal is to introduce Genesprout Initiative as an organization where young plant scientists can have their voices and opinions on New Genomic Technologies be heard and take part in advocacy, policy, and public engagement. 

The seminar will take place in Belgium at the Aula thermotechnisch instituut – TI.01.0002, Kasteelpark Arenberg 41, 3001, Leuven between 12.15 – 13.30 hrs.

We are extremely happy to have this platform to have our voices heard.

Past Events

April 2022

High level event on “Plant Variety Protection: the path towards more sustainability, innovation and growth in the European Union”

On 28 April 2022, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) hosted a policy seminar dedicated to the role and impact of plant variety protection in the European Union. The seminar coincided with the public release and presentation of the new European study called “Impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system on the EU economy and the environment” and jointly published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the CPVO.

The event gathered representatives from the European Institutions, French authorities, Breeding industry, SMEs, academics and a broad range of other stakeholders. Nikita Sajeev from Genesprout took part of Panel Discussion 2: “The impact of plant variety protection: innovation in plant breeding as a tool to become more sustainable”

The event was labeled as an official event of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and took place in Angers, France. A recording of the event can be viewed here.

We were extremely happy to have this opportunity to have our voices heard!

November 2021

New genomic techniques – the way forward for safe and sustainable innovation in the agri-food sector

On the 29th of November the European Commission organized a high-level event providing a forum for a transparent and constructive debate on how the EU could develop a regulatory framework on plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques that combines high levels of safety while reaping the benefits of innovation.

The event had representatives from EU institutions, as well as stakeholders from various interest groups and civil society. Our Co-founder Nikita Sajeev was part of Panel 3: “Engaging consumers and empowering them to make informed choices”

As #GeneSprout, we are extremely happy about this opportunity to have had our voice heard! 

October 2021

Feedback on the roadmap of the EC

GeneSprout members have responded enthusiastically to the EU commission’s call for comments on the process for new legislation to regulate New Plant Breeding Techniques / New Genomic Techniques. 

Read their views here

Tech for society - What are we going to eat?

On the 12th of october we took part of the program called tech for society – “what are we going to eat” organized by Pakhuis de Zwijger!

 

For more details please click here

 

June 2021

New Breeding Techniques: Challenges & Opportunities

On the 9th of June at 14:30 CEST, our co-founder Nikita Sajeev joined a roundtable hosted by EU40 wherein they bring together interdisciplinary speakers.

We  would like to thank the EU40 – the network of young MEPs for giving us young plant researchers the opportunity to share our views on the topic.

Follow this link to the event:

https://www.eu40.eu/events/newbreedingtechniques/

 

May 2021

GeneSprout Initiatives response to the EC study on NGTs

In April 2021 the EC released a study regarding the status of novel genomic techniques under Union Law. As GeneSprout Initiative, we wanted to ensure we represent young researchers in the stakeholder engagements following this publication. To that end, we wrote an open letter, addressed to the European Commissioner and Director for Food and Feed Safety. 

We have a dedicated page for our open letter here:

https://www.genesproutinitiative.com/genesprout-initiatives-open-letter-to-the-ec-study-on-new-genomic-techniques

December 2020

GeneSprout Initiative hosted a series of webinars at the end of December 2020. In these webinars we introduced the topics of plant breeding, domestication and genome editing to a general audience. 

What was the webinar series about?

What did the food on our plates look like hundreds of years ago? Do plants need to see a doctor when they get sick? What do plants eat and why do we eat them? We encounter plant science on a daily basis, yet we rarely stop and wonder about this. In the webinar series we explained how new plant breeding technologies can help in providing everyone with enough good quality food while making agriculture more sustainable in our rapidly changing world.

If you are interested have a look to the recordings below. If you want to learn more about the background behind these webinars, have a look at this page.

https://www.genesproutinitiative.com/webinar-series/

Plant breeding and its history
Plant health and their medicine
Plants for human health

Making crops for the future

Conventional and innovative plant breeding, and genome editing: what does it all mean and how could these technologies contribute to achieving Farm-to-Fork objectives?

Dr. Nicola Patron, Group leader at the Earlham institute, explains what technologies are available and how they help develop innovative plant varieties to meet farmers’ needs and overcome environmental challenges.

MEP Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez, MEP Ulrike Müller and the young scientists of the GeneSprout Initiative also contributed to the webinar with a recorded video message.

Follow this link for the full webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aol6VJ74dl0

November 2020

European Researchers Night

Hosted by H2020 CHIC project in collaboration with GeneSprout Initiative and Embra collective.

GeneSprout Initiative took part in the European Researchers Night the 27th of November. The event entitled “The Future of Tomorrow” was a roundtable discussion among young adults who inspire the new generations to care about the environment, especially in the midst of climate change. We have discussed the future of food, the ethical issue of new plant breeding techniques such as genome editing and what’s next to achieve a more sustainable global food chain

October 2020

Een techniek met enorme potentie

Our board member Juriaan Rienstra wrote an article about gene editing in agriculture for the Dutch NVOX magazine. NVOX is a magazine for high school teachers in the Netherlands. The purpose of the article was to give an expert insight into the big advantages gene editing offers plant breeders. 

For members of NVON, the article is free. LINK

Current Topics in Biotechnology

GeneSprout Initiative is hosting a session for MSc students at the WUR following the course ‘Current Topics in Plant Biotechnology’, where we aim to inspire other young researchers that their voice matters, and that it is important that we learn to communicate our science to the general public.

September 2020

Together with EuropaBioGenesprout Initiative hosted a dialogue between young plant scientists from Europe and overseas called “Plant genome editing in Europe: a young researchers perspective”.  Their views on genome editing in their research context, as well as their views for the future of genome editing in Europe in light of the 2018 ECJ ruling and the currently ongoing Commission study on New Genomic techniques has been discussed. 

Genesprout Initiative was asked by the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN) to present about the use of new plant breeding techniques in agriculture.

This event was considered by the audience, a group with mixed backgrounds in studies, as incredibly interesting, shedding a light on the science behind genome editing.

Thanks again to the SFYN for inviting us! And thanks to Charlotte van den Arend to make the picture for the SFYN. 

November 2019

GeneSprout Initiative gave at the ‘Current Topics In Biotechnology’ course organized by plant biotechnology master students at Wageningen University. 

The topic of this evening was ‘Entrepreneurship’ 

Our goal here was to ask  students  to find a cause they are passionate about and inspire them to start their very own initiative, just like we did!

The GeneSprout Initiative gave a talk at the COST Action PlantED conference on Plant Genome Editing in Novi Sad, Serbia. This international conference brought together people from all over the world  that are working on the technical, social and political impacts of New plant breeding techniques.

October 2019

GeneSprout Initiative hosted a one day workshop called “Plants and Patents” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS). The workshop was given by the Patent office of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Corporate Value creation office of  WUR. 

Some key topics covered were:

If allowed in Europe can plants edited using CRISPR be patented?  What are the pros/cons of patents over breeders rights?

How can you protect your own ideas or research as a young scientist? and who owns  your work?

June 2019

We organised a side-event at the prestigious CRISPR Con (2019). Our side-event was called CRISPR for Us: A Chat with Young Professionals. We hosted a panel discussion consisting of young professionals, and openly reflected what it means to be a young scientist working on and with CRISPR-related research.

The event was well-received amongst the many attendants of the conference.

May 2019

GeneSprout Initiative hosted an event last May in cooperation with the “Pint of Science” festival at Wageningen. GeneSprout Initiative gave a presentation answering questions like: 

What is CRISPR? How does it compare to more traditional methods of breeding?
An open discussion followed to explore the feelings of the public regarding CRISPR and its (potential) use in agriculture.

March 2019

The GeneSprout Initiative was featured in an article about about the legislation of GMO’s in the Wageningen World Magazine, the global magazine of Wageningen University alumni. Read about our reasons to start this initiative and our goals! 

The article can be read online here. You will also be redirected by clicking the thumbnail of the magazine to the right.

High level event on “Plant Variety Protection: the path towards more sustainability, innovation and growth in the European Union”

On 28 April 2022, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) will host a policy seminar dedicated to the role and impact of plant variety protection in the European Union. The seminar will also coincide with the public release and presentation of the new European study called “Impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system on the EU economy and the environment” and jointly published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the CPVO.

The event will gather representatives from the European Institutions, French authorities, Breeding industry, SMEs, academics and a broad range of other stakeholders. Nikita Sajeev from Genesprout will be part of Panel Discussion 2: “The impact of plant variety protection: innovation in plant breeding as a tool to become more sustainable”

The event is labeled as an official event of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be held in English and French, and will take place in Angers, France. The event will be livestreamed and recorded. Registration will be necessary and will be available here.

We are extremely happy to have this opportunity to have our voices heard!