The kick-off meeting of HE-FARM – Healthy Environmental-Friendly and Resilient Farm to Fork, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme and coordinated by University of Alcalá, took place in the Escuela Politécnica Superior in Alcalà de Henares, Spain on 2nd November 2022.

HE-FARM is an EU-funded scientific project that brings together 14 partner organisations from 7 EU Member Stateswith a €5 million budget and the aim of developing and validating a methodology that assesses the state of biosecurity on farms and at the same time makes predictions on several farms as well as increasing maturity of several disruptive novel techs, thus preventing possible infections.  

More specifically this project seeks to reduce the routes of entry and transmission of different pathogens in farms in all phases of the production chain. It will combine for example the development and validation of diagnostic and analysis technologies, novel rapid detectors of the presence of viruses in the air (PRRS in the case of pigs, avian flu in poultry production) or a rapid detector of bacteria on surfaces or the use of disruptive environmental friendly technologies for the elimination of pathogens in different pathways such as low-toxicity insecticides or systems for rapid decontamination (bactericide and viricide).The meeting was opened by Prof. José Luis Pérez Díaz of the University of Alcalá which coordinates the Project.  Representatives from all the organizations participating in the Project highlighted the importance of this scientific initiative, renewing their commitment and enthusiastic support to the Consortium of partners, and the interest toward the tangible nature of the Project.

During the event have been presented the activities that the consortium will carry out during the 3-year program of this project. 

The Work Packages with the relative technical activities were explained and next steps for their start-up were discussed. Professor David Morton assisted the consortium in properly pointing out all potential ethical issues that need to be considered throughout the project.

The representative of CAT.AL – Cluster Agrifood Lombardy presented the communication, dissemination and exploitation work package of the project, essential to make the cutting-edge activities to be implemented comprehensible to the general public, but also to insiders. The meeting was brought to a close by Prof. Pérez Díaz, with all partners aware of the importance of the project’s objectives for biosecurity of livestock farm in Europe.

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