Plants are fascinating and we celebrate them by promoting the latest state-of-the-art research and breakthroughs in the plant science and exploring new applications plant science can offer.


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Chicory as a multipurpose crop for dietary fibre and midicional terpenes

The CHIC project aims to develop chicory varieties to produce dietary fibre with enhanced prebiotic effects to promote gut health.


The CHIC project is a Horizon 2020, 7.3M€ funding programme for the development and application of New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBT’s) for chicory. The consortium of 17 participants includes SMEs, an industrial partner, NGOs and research institutes from 11 European countries and one from New Zealand.

The project aims at establishing chicory as a multipurpose crop for sustainable molecular farming of products with consumer benefits. CHIC also aims to facilitate a transparent discussion and create awareness about NPBT to allow informed decision making by all stakeholders, including the public.  During the last 12 months, some progress has been made since the project has been launched. The main leaders working on the development of four conceptually different NPBTs, managed to progress with the design of transformation constructs expressing guide RNAs, and the implementation of a chicory transformation protocol based on Agrobacterium. The first gene edited chicory plants have been obtained by several laboratories. Other interesting developments were made within both the implementation of NPBTs in Chicory for dietary inulin and the implementation of NPBTs in Chicory for bioactive terpenes.

A great work has been done in dealing with the toxicologic assessment of the ingredients of chicory and the regulatory assessment of NPBTs in a worldwide comparison.

The first scenarios for the assessment were suggested, a database for collecting data was established and initial information on the whole value chain and the products were collected. In order to improve stakeholder

engagement, the overall approach and objectives were set, the setting up and further development of the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAG) and finally, the first SAG meeting was achieved in the second month.

Furthermore, the communication and dissemination infrastructure has been developed, by creating dedicated social network accounts, the website and material such as an informative video and 2000 leaflets and the promotion of Art and Science activities by selecting labs and artists to participate in the joint programme. From a managerial perspective, a GA meeting schedule has been set up 9 months after the start of the project, and an internal Intermediate Reporting schedule, alternating with the 18-month formal Periodic Reports to the EU, have been implemented.

Are you ready to see what’s next?


Contact: Macarena Sanz

Duration: 31/01/2018 - 22/12/2022

Contact: Macarena Sanz, [email protected]. idconsortium

Leverano in Fiore

Leverano in Fiore, 17-19 May 2019

‘Leverano in fiore’ is ready to come back again in 2019 to amaze visitors and guests from all over the world with another memorable and surprising event. The old town centre is already preparing to wear its magical dress of colours.

The town of Leverano is set in the heart of the expansive Arneo area, a corner of Salento rich with olive trees and dry-stone walls, an area of absolute naturalistic-environmental value. Located in a strategic position: a few kilometres from Lecce, the capital city of the Province, and from the main summer tourist destinations, in particular Porto Cesareo, Leverano is home to many historical monuments. The Tower of Frederick II, built around 1220, is a national monument and symbol of the identity of our community.

Leverano is a town with a strong agricultural tradition: it is one of the main Apulian centres for the production of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, flowers and wines, now known all over the world. Leverano is also known as the “City of Flowers”, thanks to over 400 companies operating in flower growing business which make Leverano an important reference point in Italy for the entire sector. Celosia, Chrysanthemum, Curcuma, Helianthus and Oriental Lily are all produced here in large quantities.

Last year more than 40 thousand visitors come to the town to attend ‘Leverano in fiore’. The old town centre was transformed into a huge open air garden. In this triumph of colours and scents, lovers of flowers, plants and beauty in general were able to admire the many extraordinary creations. To make the event even more celebratory, 40 floral artists took part in an international art competition ‘Arteflorando’. Divided into 14 teams from all over the world, they contributed to make “Leverano in fiore” unique.


See the promotional flyer for more information.

Duration: 17/05/2019 - 19/05/2019

Contact: Angelo Santino, [email protected].