25 January 2017 – Specialists gathered from across Europe in Del├ęmont, Switzerland last week (17 January 2017) to find out about insect pest control strategies at a Breeding Invertebrates for Next Generation BioControl (BINGO) workshop organised by CABI.

BINGO is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network that develops research training to improve the production and performance of natural enemies in biocontrol. More than 70 participants attended the event including partners from BINGO, Swiss biocontrol companies, universities and scientists from around Europe.

The workshop presented an overview of the challenges that biocontrol faces and the successes that have already been achieved, with expert speakers invited to lead sessions on specific topics. Stefan Vidal from the University of G├Âttingen described innovative strategies within the field, while Urs Schaffner, based in CABI┬ĺs Swiss centre, spoke on how to assess risks connected to weed biological control agents.

In other talks, Felix W├Ąckers from Biobest highlighted developments in conservation biological control and Simon Fleischli from Andermatt Biocontrol demonstrated how insect pathogens are currently used as biological control agents. The practical challenges of implementing inundative biocontrol methods were covered by Tom Groot and Markus Knapp of Koppert, and Bernd W├╝hrer from AMW N├╝tzlinge. The final speaker was Bas Zwaan from Wageningen University who spoke about modern molecular tools that help with the development of new biocontrol agents.

The overall objective of BINGO is to advance current knowledge in biocontrol practice through the use of natural genetic variation and by simultaneously training 13 young researchers in an extensive suite of interdisciplinary skills. On 18 January 2017, all PhD students involved in the BINGO project had the opportunity to present their research at the internal midterm review meeting to the EU officer Julien Giordani and the external expert Fran├žois Verheggen who gave very positive feedback on the progress achieved so far.

For more information on BINGO click here.

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