INCREASE awarded with EU Prize for Citizen Science 2024

INCREASE awarded with EU Prize for Citizen Science 2024

The European Commission has awarded INCREASE the “Grand Prize” of the EU Prize for Citizen Science 2024. The INCREASE project, with CNRS* as a partner, aims to develop effective conservation tools and methods to promote agrobiodiversity in Europe by enhancing the management and utilization of genetic resources in food legumes. These resources are crucial for agricultural system sustainability, food security, and human health. As part of this initiative, the citizen science experiment invites European citizens to conserve and characterize various bean varieties. To date, over 13,000 citizens have participated over the past three years, documenting valuable scientific insights into variety development using the dedicated “INCREASE CSA” app, specifically developed for the project. Winning this prestigious prize was made possible by the commitment, motivation, and dedication of thousands of individuals. The INCREASE team will use the prize money to develop new features for the app and enhance project communication through videos showcasing experiment results, events, and educational kits for schools. INCREASE project coordinator Roberto Papa from the Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy expressed his gratitude, saying: “We are thrilled, honoured, and grateful to the European Commission and the Prize Committee for their recognition of our work. Their spotlight on the importance of citizen involvement in science is a testament to our shared vision of shaping the future of our societies together”. Kerstin Neumann from IPK Gatersleben, who coordinates the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment (CSE) adds: “In addition to all the hard-working partners from the INCREASE project, we want to explicitly thank all stakeholders and multipliers for supporting the dissemination of the CSE across Europe. But most of all we want to thank each and every one of our thousands of participants, who are highly motivated and dedicate a lot of time to their tasks as citizen scientists. You are a wonderful community, thank you!”.

The EU Prize for Citizen Science is funded under Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027). It is run by the EU-funded project IMPETUS, which is managed by the European Research Executive Agency (REA).

Read the full press release issued by the European Commission here.

Plus, for further insights into the project activities, achievements, and INCREASE’s approach to involving citizens read an interview with Roberto Papa and Kerstin Neumann here .

*Maud Tenaillon, CNRS research director, is the French representative of this citizen science experiment. Contact : Maud Tenaillon,