On October 24, 2017, the U.S. News and World Report released their Best Global Universities ranking, which is produced using content and analytics from Web of Science and InCites. The rankings evaluate the top 1,250 research universities – up from 1,000 last year – spread across 74 countries. Ghent University is fifth in this list of universities renowned in research related to the field of plant and animal. This is the fantastic merit of many colleagues who are employed by or associated with the Ghent University Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the Faculty of Sciences, the ILVO and the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology. Together with the many Agrotech companies, Ghent is a very important hub worldwide, which will only increase in the coming years. The growing world population, climate change, and the need for a more sustainable agriculture are enormous challenges that we need to solve. By combining our strengths in the future, we can put the Ghent Agrotech cluster on the map.

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October 28, 2017 - Prof. Dirk Inzé of the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology receives the ‘2017 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize’. With this award GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences) recognizes prof. Inzé for his exceptional and significant life time achievements in the field of agricultural and life sciences.

The World Agriculture Prize is yearly awarded to an academic/faculty member from a higher education institution working in the disciplines relating to the agricultural and life sciences. The World Agriculture Prize aims to encourage the global development of the mission of higher education institutions in education, research and innovation in the agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission.

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On May 11-12, 2017 representatives from North Carolina State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences traveled to Flanders to share their research and gain insight from their counterpart at VIB. Emphasizing areas where the resources of NC State and VIB can complement each other, their visit included a tour to VIB’s microscopy lab and an intro to VIB’s ability to complete high-throughput phenotyping. 

Deborah Thompson (Director of Research Partnerships at CALS): " The aim of this visit was to start creating opportunities for collaboration that lead to sustainable, affordable approaches to feed the world’s growing population."

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Researchers from VIB-UGent have discovered a gene that significantly increases plant growth and seed yield in maize. Research into crop yield is crucial because of the increasing incidence of extreme weather conditions affecting agriculture. The results from laboratory research were confirmed during two-year field trials conducted in Belgium and the United States showing that this gene can increase seed yield in maize hybrids by 10 to 15%. The results of the greenhouse and field trials are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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De teelt van genetisch gemodificeerde gewassen is slechts in vier Europese landen toegestaan en is eigenlijk bijna volledig terug te brengen op Spanje en Portugal. Daar blijft het areaal groeien. Dat blijkt uit het jaarlijks globaal ggo-overzicht van de International Service for he Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). In Spanje, Portugal, Slovakije en Tsjechië samen steeg het areaal in 2016 met 17 procent. Voor de hele wereld is dat 3 procent. Met een ggo-areaal van 73 miljoen hectare is de Verenigde Staten de absolute koploper, gevolgd door Brazilië en Argentinië.

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