Engineering Research Centre in Biological Pest Control in Agriculture
The São Paulo Advanced Research Center for Biological Control (SPARCBio) has the mission of developing a biological pest control model for tropical regions through competitive international research.
SPARCBio receives funding through an agreement between FAPESP and Koppert, a Dutch-based company based in Piracicaba since 2011. The headquarters of the center is at the "Luiz de Queiroz" College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo (Esalq-USP), with the coordination of Professor José Roberto Postali Parra.
Fundamental research, oriented towards innovative applications, should generate knowledge and the technology produced will be transferred through extension courses.
Interaction with the educational system, especially at the elementary and middle levels, is also expected to disseminate information on biological pest control through the FAPESP Public Education Research Program.
The research team of the center will develop inter and multidisciplinary actions involving projects in five lines of research:
1) Prospecting new biocontrollers and their geographical distribution;
2) Production processes and automation of beneficial macro and microorganisms;
3) New formulations of microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and secondary metabolites);
4) Risk and benefit assessment of Biological Control; and
5) Strategies for the use of biological and semiochemical control in Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The organization of the Center foresees an International Advisory Council that, next to the Koppert Company, will follow the direction of the research so that the proposed objectives are achieved.