30 May 2024

A new European project dedicated to soil contamination: WHEATWATCHER

The CRA-W has received confirmation that the WHEATWATCHER (Safe Wheat Agriculture Towards Sustainable Health: Innovative Sensing Techniques, and Holistic Spectroscopy Traceability for Improved Soil, plant Health and safe wheat grain Activity) project has been selected for EU funding. This project is part of the EU call for proposals HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-01-03 and will officially start on 1st October 2024.

The general objective of the WHEATWATCHER project is to develop and implement an integrated soil monitoring system to assess soil nutrients status and chemical and biological stressors affecting and/or contaminating wheat grains from at-field growing stage to flour production in various regions across Europe, which will provide a management and decision tool for the farmers, mill owners and policy makers to guarantee quality and safe food production.

The CRA-W will be involved in several tasks of the project, including the identification of specific detection requirements, data capture mainly in the proximal detection of contaminated soils and laboratory samples of wheat grain and powder. It will also be involved in tasks related to modelling and mapping, including data pre-processing and predictive modelling and scaling of soil, crop and food contamination using machine learning methods. It will lead a task related to the adaptation of the local chemometric framework as a tool for innovative prediction, performance and scalability analysis and will participate in the development of a cloud-based web platform for data fusion. The CRA-W is also leader of a work package dedicated to food traceability.

Our team is eager to contribute to the project's objectives and collaborate with our European counterparts to achieve shared goals. We believe that this partnership will not only enhance our organization's capabilities but also foster meaningful connections within the broader European community. We look forward to the exciting opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and positive impact that this WHEATWATCHER project will bring.