Service Launch of Site Similarity Certification

March 2007

  • Dr. Udo Heimbach, JKI

    Spatial Business Integration (SBI), located in Darmstadt (Germany), presented on Friday 9th of March 2007 its new service "Site Similarity Certification" (SSC) to a large community of well-known international companies of the plant protection industry.

    ADC, AGROSTAT, BASF, Bayer CropScience, BBA, ESA, Eurofins-GAB, FCS, ISK BIOSCIENCES, Makhteshim-Agan and Syngenta sent representatives to Darmstadt.

    Based on satellite image information a new scientific method was developed in the framework of a project co-financed by the European Space Agency (ESA) which enables to compare agricultural trial sites objectively and accurately. Besides the satellite images which are especially processed for this purpose, conventional data like phenology, temperature, precipitation and soil characteristics are considered in the process of site comparison, as well as additional information selected for specific indications.

  • Ola Grabak, ESA

    For the purpose of registration of Plant Protection Product SSC proves the transferability of field trial results achieved in one EU member state to another. SSC proves the site similarity in a scientific and objective way. Thus, it has become possible to accurately evaluate the transferability of trial findings gained from efficacy studies from one to the other EU member state.

    Besides, two things are now possible: A more efficient planning of field trials across Europe and the possibility of substituting missing field trials for Site Similarity Certification.

  • Dr. Katrin Born, SBI

    After the opening of the meeting by the SBI management and the introduction of the project partners, Mr. Ola Grabak from ESA presented the organisation, the mission and programmes of the European Space Agency. Mr. Dr. Udo Heimbach of The Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants presented the mission, structure and standards of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). Afterwards the scientific background, the applications and results of SSC were presented, which were worked out within the project in 2005 and 2006.

  • Dr. Jürgen Born, SBI

    After Lunch on the time-honoured Frankenstein castle near Darmstadt, the usability of SSC was discussed together with the participants. In the course of that discussion it clearly came out that SSC undoubtedly enables saving field trials for the purpose of pan-European registration or better planning these trials, leading to reduced costs and shorter time-to-market.

    Many participants expect that with the help of this new method there will be a shifting from such decisions directed by political aspects to decisions based on a scientific reflection within the trans-national registration processes. They call on the project partners to sensitise national associations and European bodies to this new technology. Some of the participants showed interest in integrating a SSC in their current registration projects, as pilot users.

    In summary it is to be pointed out that SSC does represent a new satellite imagery-based scientific tool which meaningfully complements already existing data in the pan-European registration processes.