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Our government-funded OMENZ project ramps up with first meeting

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  • 2 min read

This month saw the first of our yearly, whole project, in-person meetings for Phase 2 of the OMENZ project. OMENZ, part of the Biomass Feedstock Innovation Programme, is funded by BEIS’s net-zero innovation portfolio. This month’s meeting is the first time all the partners have been in-person together since our Phase 2 application was successful.

The team from LIAT, the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology, hosted the first meeting at the Riseholme campus. The team from LIAT gave the OMENZ team and representatives from BEIS a tour of the facilities they will be using in the project. These include the robots which will measure and monitor early crop establishment, as well as the new rhizotron facility being put in place to look at how different soil types affect rhizome development.

The day featured presentations from CHAP, Crop Health and Protection Limited, who are helping Terravesta manage the project, and Dr Jason Kam, Terravesta’s R&D manager, who talked about a recent trip made by several partners of the OMENZ projects to our rhizome nurseries. The team examined the existing rhizome production processes to examine how the improvements proposed in Phase 1 could now be implemented.

The meeting was rounded off by a trip to the nearby trials, where Dr Michael Squance, Terravesta’s Science and Technology Director, showed the team the work on developing new Miscanthus hybrids with discussions about the improvements to be made from the OMENZ work.

Terravesta’s science and technology director, Michael Squance, said:

“It’s very exciting to be getting stuck into Phase 2 of OMENZ and being able to deliver real change to the bio-economy. We have assembled a team with a wide range of expertise, and it’s exciting to see them working together to help us improve Miscanthus establishment. I believe the impact of OMENZ and the engagement with this new team will lead to new and exciting things for our entire supply chain.”

Over the next few years, the OMENZ project will be working on a range of measures to help improve crop establishment, and Terravesta will be sharing updates on the project as activity ramps up.