During these unprecedented times, we need to adapt and offer equal online opportunities for expanding research and innovation. On that ground, our collaborating partner from the Democritus University of Thrace and the Agricultural Entomology & Zoology Laboratory of the Department of Agricultural Development, organised INTOMED’s Online International Symposium. More than 250 participants from all over the world had the opportunity to attend our Symposium which was held on Friday 4th of December and shed light on Biologicals/Biopesticides/Biostimulants and EU policies.

Through this online event, we aimed to bring together researchers, public and private sector representatives to consider integration opportunities and best practices in biological control in the context of current EU policies. The Symposium included a plethora of keynote talks and panel discussions into three distinct levels, Biologicals/Biopesticides/Biostimulants, EU policies and Industry perspectives.

The attendees gained knowledge on the latest research updates regarding new ways, molecules and agents to sustainably manage agricultural pests as well as the development of new biopesticides and the scientific breakthroughs behind them. Furthermore, policy-related keynote speakers, such as Robert Finger, from the Agricultural Economics and Policy Group of ETH Zurich and Jennifer Lewis, from the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA), introduced us on alternative ways for advancing pesticide policies and what role plays Bioprotection in regenerating agriculture, respectively. Robert Finger stated that policy is of vital importance when considering sustainable agriculture and food security, while Jennifer Lewis supported that “Biology should come first!” and noticed the need of researchers to provide evidence at field level to policy makers and industry for the benefit of bioprotection. Last but not least, the participants had the chance to discover the industry perspectives of pest control, by meeting representatives from Biobest and Artal, world-known companies for their work on biologically control pests.

A fruitful discussion was developed at the end of the day, where our partners and speakers discussed about the role of policies and education on promoting sustainable agriculture. For closing remarks, one of our partners Paula Baptista, very well mentioned that “We do not want to kill pests, but we are trying to find sustainable solutions aiming to establish the equilibrium in nature”.

Our first Symposium was a great success! We are thankful to all keynote speakers, the organising committee as well as all the participants, for making our 1st Symposium an amazing online experience.
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