EU funds insecticide synergist research
By Andy Beer
Published: 30 October 2013 10:35 AM
The European Commission has awarded a consortium of companies and research organisations some €1 million ($1.4 million) to develop insecticide synergists for agricultural, household and public health use. The EcoSyn project is aimed at cutting the amount of insecticides used to reduce their impact on beneficial insects such as bees. Based on the interactions of the established synergist, piperonyl butoxide, with metabolic enzymes in insect pests, new molecular structures will be designed, synthesised and evaluated on pests and beneficial insects using laboratory assays and field trials. The synthesis of these synergists will be evaluated with the aim of achieving an economically feasible industrial process.
The project involves the development of strategies to use the synergists to control insect pests while preserving beneficial insects. It has "significant scientific, economic and social impact as part of sustainable food production and disease control", the consortium points out. The research will be covered by global patent and licensing agreements. The project is being co-ordinated by Dr Valerio Borzatta from the Italian agrochemical company, Endura. Other members of the consortium include AgChem Access (UK), Ankara Advanced Technologies Investment (Turkey), Babolna Bio (Hungary), Dewar Crop Protection (UK), Rothamsted Research (UK), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy) and Vyzkumny Ustav Vcelarsky (Czech Republic).