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Luke transfers plant health innovations to companies

Blog post
Jarkko Hantula

Plant and forest diseases are causing considerable production losses in horticulture, forestry and agriculture. The classical example is the Irish potato famine, which was caused by the potato blight and resulted in the death of ca. million people in mid-19th century.

Such disasters are not expected anymore, but economic losses are still considerable. For example, Heterobasidion root and butt rot reduce the annual profits of forestry by ca. 800 million euros in Europe. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to continuously develop new measures to reduce negative effects of organisms causing plant and forest diseases without increasing chemical load of the environment.

In this respect, there are a plethora of proven principles such as resistance breeding of plants, biological control of pathogens or production of pathogen-free seed and seedlings. All these options, however, need to be optimised for the pathogens to be targeted.

According to Professor Jarkko Hantula: the innovation chain starting from basic research, refined by means of applied science at research organizations – such as Luke – and optimized for practical usage by commercial companies is the mankind´s most efficient tool to solve problems. That holds also in the case of combatting plant and forest pathogens.

Luke develops sustainable business on renewable natural resources by transferring inventions and service innovations resulting from scientific work and technological development to companies.


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