Inauguration of the new building for the Plant Health Laboratory
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News of 18/01/2012
18 January 2012
The ANSES Plant Health Laboratory (LSV), located in Angers at the heart of a “competitiveness cluster with global reach in plant sciences", today inaugurated its new building. This has been made possible thanks to funding from France's Ministry of Agriculture, the EU's Regional Development Fund (managed by the Prefecture of the Pays de Loire Regional Council), the Maine et Loire Departmental Council and the Greater Angers Loire Métropole Area, and will provide the working conditions needed to enable this National Reference Laboratory to maintain the scope and reliability of its work. It offers staff optimum working conditions while blending perfectly into the local environment. The new scientific area will be able to take in young researchers for training and welcome foreign delegations or staff from other national or European laboratories.
Just like humans and animals, plants can also be the victims of a range of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasitic worms, fungi), as well as of insect pests and invasive plants, with serious consequences both on the economics of crop production and on preservation of biodiversity. As the National Reference Laboratory for Plant Health, the LSV develops analytical and screening methods and also undertakes research into regulated or emerging harmful organisms, to contribute to risk management in plant health. It provides technical and scientific support to government departments and participates in international scientific partnerships related to its missions. It coordinates a network of laboratories accredited to carry out official analyses concerning regulated diseases and organises inter-laboratory proficiency tests to guarantee the network's reliability. The laboratory covers all disciplines relative to biological risks to plant health: virology, bacteriology, mycology, GMOs, nematology, entomology and invasive plants, as well as tropical pests and pathogens. It coordinates expert appraisals and risk assessment within its field of competence. It has a workforce of 80 people, spread over six separate sites.
The headquarters of the LSV are in Angers, at the heart of a “competitiveness cluster with global reach in plant sciences". This site, in close proximity to INRA, GEVES (1), INH (2), the Technopole House and the future Institut du Végétal, enables the laboratory to forge partnerships with both regional and national research institutes (INRA, universities, the doctoral school, GEVES-SNES, FREDON (3), professional organisations, etc.).
As a partner of the Végépolys competitiveness cluster, the laboratory is on the technical committee that is developing the “Plant Campus”, a project to bring all the existing research teams together to form a joint research unit under the Institut Fédératif de Recherche's QUASAV unit (4), in order to pool resources, develop partnerships and increase efficiency.
With this new building, the ANSES Angers station will have a total built-up surface of 4200 m2, set on one and a half hectares, including offices, areas for processing large deliveries of samples for analysis in the event of plant health emergencies, containment laboratories either standard or reinforced (Level 2) depending on use, a high-level biological containment laboratory (Level 3) for the safe handling of quarantined harmful organisms not found in Europe, chambers for plant culture and a Level 2 containment greenhouse.
These new premises have been designed to high architectural and environmental standards in terms of biosecurity, providing staff with optimum working conditions, blending perfectly into the local environment and minimising the site's ecological footprint.
This building project, costing 12 million Euros overall, was made possible by support from the French State (Ministry of Agriculture), the European Union via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) managed by the Prefecture of the Pays de Loire Region, the Pays de Loire Regional Council, the Maine et Loire Departmental Council and the Greater Angers Loire Métropole Area.
Key dates for the LSV
The French National Laboratory for Plant Protection (LNPV) was originally set up in 1995 and was previously part of the Ministry of Agriculture under the Directorate General for Food (DGAL). On January 1st 2011, the LNPV became the Plant Health Laboratory when it joined ANSES, in accordance with the general rationale of separating risk assessment from risk management, leaving the one to the Agency and the other to the Ministry, as is already the case for human and animal health issues. This follows on from the conclusions of the national consultation on the health sector held in 2010 under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture on plant and animal protection.
(1) Groupe d'étude et de contrôle des variétés et des semences (Study Group for the Control of Varieties and Seeds)
(2) Institut National d'Horticulture et de Paysage (National Horticulture and Landscaping Institute)
(3) Fédération Régionale de Défense contre les Organismes Nuisibles (Regional Federation for Combating Harmful Organisms)
(4) Qualité et santé du vegetal (Plant Quality and Health)