The Polytechnic University of Marche (UNIVPM), established in Ancona in 1971, numbers 17,000 students and 1,100 professors, teaching assistants, researchers, technical and administrative personnel. It includes five faculties (Engineering, Science, Economic Sciences, Medicine and Agricultural Sciences).
Two Departments of UNIVPM are involved in the INCREASE project: the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A) and the Department of lnformation Engineering (DlI).
D3A includes researchers, who carry out studies on agronomy and crop sciences, agro-forestry, food production and landscape and environmental valorisation. The D3A focuses on issues (agriculture, food, environment, and energy) which are at the heart of the challenges related to food, environment and energy which affect the whole of society.
DlI promotes activities in most research areas in the field of Information Engineering. Research is supported by several laboratories and computer facilities. Particular attention is dedicated to the technology transfer towards public and private companies, and to the collaboration with the local, social and economic background. The department hosts the activities of 12 spin-offs in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Both departments collaborate on several regional, national and international research projects, with different and synergic competencies useful for a multidisciplinary approach to the research activities due to its strategic position within one of the most important Italian districts in precision farming and Satellite image analysis for environmental purposes.
Role within INCREASE
UNIVPM is the coordinating institution, with two departments (D3A and DII) involved. The institution leads work package 1, involved in all the tasks and it is responsible for the fulfilment of all activities, for the time check and the quality of research, for the relationship with the European Commission and with the consortium. Due to his expertise in common bean, UNIVPM is the crop leader for this species and supervises all the activities regarding common bean.
Thanks to its skills in testing novel data production and sharing, UNIVPM is involved in work package 2 activities, leading the Tasks 2.4 and 2.5, which involve the establishment of a Blockchain approach for decentralised conservation.
UNIVPM leads work package 3 aimed at the establishment and the development of the sets of plant materials which will be genetically and phenotypically characterised at different levels in INCREASE.
Due to the experience in genotyping, genomics and de novo genome assembly (a reference genome of P. coccineus was recently generated with PacBio long-read sequencing (unpublished) by the D3A team in collaboration with the University of Georgia (UGA) and transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq), and due to the genomics lab with expertise in libraries preparation, UNIVPM is involved in work package 4 (data production) activities and leads Task 4.1 “Genome sequencing and genotyping”.
In work package 5 (data analyses) UNIVPM leads the Task 5.1 “Pan-genomes development and genotyping” and Task 5.2 “Genetic diversity and management of in situ and ex situ germplasm”.
Thanks to the expertise in germplasm analyses and management, UNIVPM is involved in exploiting the results of other work packages to improve current standards of germplasm management as expected by the activities planned in work package 6.
Under work package 7, UNIVPM participates in the dissemination and exploitation of the results, leading Task 7.3 that deals with the organisation of capacity building and training activities on data management and data analyses. Furthermore, UNIVPM takes care of the liaison with INCREASE sister projects to create a network able to maximise the project's impact.