NPEC status report 2022

Foto: Guy Ackermans

NPEC was funded by NWO large scale research infrastructure funding, which requires a yearly report on progress, below you can read a one-page summary of this report for the year 2022.

Status of modules and access

In 2022 the NPEC greenhouse, module 5, and the open field module 6 have been fully operational and have carried out many experiments listed on the NPEC website. Installation of modules 1 and 4 was completed by the end of 2022, and the installation of modules 2 and 3 will be completed by Q1 2023. The site acceptance tests for modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 were initiated in 2022 and will continue till autumn 2023, involving future users. Although, the NPEC installation experienced a severe delay in reaching full operation due to Covid and other difficulties ,all six modules will be fully ready for experiments to be carried out by academic users, public-private partnerships, and industrial partners at the end of 2023.

Partnerships and projects

The Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (NPEC) officially opened its doors in September 2022. This kickstarted the 7th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium in Wageningen, which attracted 450 international visitors for the excellent key notes, talks, and poster sessions. In 2022, also three EU-proposals were submitted, which will guarantee funding for access and usage of NPEC, and two were already granted. The EU-project PHENET (WUR) focuses on data management and good practice phenotyping, while EMPHASIS-GO aims to boost European plant research infrastructure. Additionally, the Jan Ingenhousz Institute for Photosynthesis Efficiency Research Institute in Wageningen (JIHI) was announced, which will rely on the NPEC modules for a substantial part of its research. NPEC hosted master thesis students and was referred to in 4 scientific publications, listed here. The NPEC User Platform was convened and held the kick-off meeting in July 2022.

Data

The NPEC Data module 7 has developed the data structure and data processing steps from raw sensor data to interpret usable information for each automated measurement system/ camera/ sensor for each of the six modules. This has proven to be an ambitious and essential part of NPEC, and it requires constant fine-tuning towards end-users to optimize and organize how the data is stored and structured, and how access is enabled. In total, NPEC has already been accumulating 250 Tb of research data in modules 5 and 6, and is preparing a tape archive to store raw data FAIR up to 10 petabytes. The NPEC data module team has intensified collaboration with local IT support and Data Competence Centre to provide NPEC users easy access to NPEC data in the research data management cloud using iRods and MS Azure.

Outreach

www.npec.nl received more than 10.000 unique visitors. We released a 3D virtual tour for the greenhouse module. And NPEC has an active social media presence on Twitter and at the NPEC.nl LinkedIn group. Next to that it has participated in numerous events, including providing daily guided tours daily by trained master student guides. NPEC is widely recognized as one of the most advanced integrated plant phenotyping centers globally.

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