Our research projects

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Innovative practices, tools and products to boost soil fertility and peat substitution in horticultural crops
Coordinating Institute

Allocated to research program
The main objective of SPIN-FERT is to integrate optimised and validated innovations in soil management practices and improve peat-free substrates to enhance soil health in vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops. SPIN-FERT will exploit outcomes, including patents, from several related projects, in particular EXCALIBUR as 6 of its members are partners in SPIN-FERT. Multi-actor approach is at the core of SPIN-FERT methodology and consortium for extensive knowledge transfer and co-design. Specifically, SPIN-FERT will optimize the production process of chosen fertilising products and improve their formulation with innovative protocols to increase efficacy. SPIN-FERT will leverage agro-food by-products into resources for agricultural production, exploiting them further into peat-free substrates. These and reconditioned coir will be formulated with specifically selected microbial strains to improve their characteristics and applicability, particularly for nursery industry. All innovative products will be validated in field trials in 4 regions in Europe (PL, I, F and UK). Five tools will be delivered to support the correct implementation of the practices, to facilitate products registration and favoring policy development, including a Soil Holistic Quality Index. SPIN-FERT will carry out economic, social and environmental assessments of the peat-free substrates and soil management innovations, to demonstrate sustainability. All this information will serve to develop a comprehensive policy framework for measures fostering wide adoption of soil-friendly practices. To further ensure commercial relevance of the peat-free substrates and soil management innovations, SMEs, public authorities and citizen representatives partner or advise on SPIN-FERT for effective project delivery and maximum impact. Art&science and image-based tools will be utilized in communication and dissemination to increase awareness on the central role of soil health for humans and planet living.

Funding framework
HorizonEurope Call: HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-01 Topic: HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-01-05


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