The DBG maintains an international network and is linked to the independent academic organisation EPSO since April 2009 – in addition to its membership in the DNK. EPSO represents more than 200 academic research institutes, universities and departments from 30 countries. Together they represent over 28,000 plant scientists and staff. In addition, EPSO has over 3,100 Personal Members. Jointly they work to promote plant sciences.
EPSO’s mission is in accordance with the objectives of the DBG:
- to improve the impact and visibility of plant science in Europe
- to facilitate the understanding of plant science, to boost funding for basic research and to coordinate research activities at the national and European levels and beyond
- to promote plant science and support plant scientists
- to discuss future plant science programmes across Europe
- to provide authoritative source of independent information on plant science
- to offer training of plant scientists to meet the 21st century challenges in breeding, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, plant ecology and sectors related to plant science
EPSO consists mainly of institutional members, solely academic. Personal membership is open to any profession. In the past ten years the organisation achieved the following accomplishments:
- It created research opportunities for the plant sector in the European Framework Programmes (FR6 & FR7)
- The organisation observes the ERA-Net Plant Genomics / CAPS and Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) research programmes
- EPSO is a founding member of Global Plant Council and of the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) that fostered the creation of the European Research Council (ERC).
- EPSO is a major stakeholder of the European Technology Platform “Plants for the Future” (Plant ETP) and coordinated the strategic bioeconomy project of 9 ETPs resulting in a white paper.
The organisation envisages boosting funding for basic research that address grand challenges like food, water and energy security, sustainable agriculture, breeding, forestry, plant ecology and biodiversity in the future. It provides input to the research programmes FP7 and Horizon 2020 and fosters global collaboration.
To improve public relation activities EPSO organises a “Fascination of Plants Day” which took place on May 18th 2012 for the first time.