From the 2014 International PlantLIBRA Conference in Vienna, Austria

EC gives thumbs up to €6m PlantLIBRA botanicals project. But will there be more?

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As the EU’s ambitious €6m PlantLIBRA project to further botancials science drew to a close this week at a congress in Vienna, we asked the European Commission about the project’s relative merits – and whether a ‘mark 2’ was on the cards.

The 4-year project was multifarious and included work by scientists who also worked on the independent 1000-strong BELFRIT list that is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive lists of botanical safety and efficacy ever produced in Europe. But that project was not PlantLIBRA funded.

“I have to say based on everything I have seen, it has been very successful,” Dieter Brigitta, research programme officer at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation in the EC, told us in Vienna of PlantLIBRA.

“It actually validated why the European Commission put forward this topic four years ago…a lot of the research questions that were put forward at the start were answered but also a lot of very new, interesting research ideas have come forward and that’s often a good indicator of a good project when the questions that were asked at the beginning prove to be valid questions but also very new, intriguing ways of moving forward.”

Brigitta said the project had potential to influence EU botanicals policy making and that there was scope for more EU-backed research in the area, if not in exactly the same form.

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