Published June 30, 2021 | Version v1
Project deliverable Open

EMPHASIS-PREP Deliverable: D2.6. Criteria for life cycle assessment

  • 1. VIB
  • 2. University of Nottingham
  • 3. INRAE
  • 4. UCL
  • 5. CNR
  • 6. Forschungszentrum Jülich


Executive Summary


The objective of EMPHASIS-prep is to develop a long term, distributed, pan-European infrastructure for state-of-the-art plant phenotyping experimental installations, which aims to improve crop performance to cope with climate changes and to keep pace with population growth. Plant researchers are required to test the improvement of plant and crop performance by using all
categories of plant phenotyping infrastructures (as described in the deliverable D2.1. criteria list for plant phenotyping infrastructure) which can and should be combined together in a multiscale plant phenotyping approach, ideally, within a coordinated infrastructure, linked with an integrated data management system for storing and analyzing (meta)data, and with modelling platforms associated
with the phenotyping platforms. To be able to form this distributed plant phenotyping infrastructure and understand the comparability and/or differences between installations, it is essential to map the new and existing plant phenotyping platforms that uses non-destructive, image-analysis based determination of the phenotype of plants and allow for a characterization of plant traits. This
exercise of mapping the infrastructures has been performed and the results can be consulted in the EMPHASIS-PREP deliverable D2.3 mapping of existing and upcoming infrastructures. Deliverable D2.4, extensively describes the analyzing of the gaps and limitations based on the mapping activities. Moreover, where possible, the gaps will be strategically addressed to define
how EMPHASIS could be helpful in the future to tackle these gaps in services towards excellence in plant phenotyping science within Europe.

Nevertheless, mapping and knowing the limitations of the European situation of the distributed infrastructure is not sufficient to understand the landscape of the experimental phenotyping installations in Europe and its financial impact. Knowing the life cycle of the installations, the time when updates and/or upgrades are needed and the life span before decommissioning of the installations, will complement the understanding of the operation of the installations and allow for planning and interaction between installations on a pan-European level.


This deliverable, describes the analysis of life cycles of plant phenotyping experimental installations which will provide insights in when installations require updates, upgrades, in both software and hardware of the systems, or, as a last step in the life cycle, requires decommissioning. The report summarizes surveys of the way life cycle is currently managed in plant phenotyping
installations, in the 5 categories identified in D2.1., on the level of updates and upgrades on hardware systems, implementation of software systems, including an analysis of the financial situation of updates.
The results of the deliverable have been obtained by analysis of data from two sources: (1) interviews with 20 different installation managers of European plant phenotyping installations, within countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Germany, Italy and Czech Republic. All interviews have been added within the attachment of this deliverable. ; (2) Survey results of the 2021 survey of IPPN and EMPHASIS, with 396 participants of European origin.During the lifecycle of an infrastructure the costs may vary substantially for example with respect to investment, operation or decommissioning. Within the main results we observe big differences between the different phenotyping categories (see D2.1 Criteria list), updates and upgrades on fields are almost nonexistent, whereas software tools need constant updates and controlled conditions need bigger upgrades every 5 to 10 years. Data about decommissioning was not easy to find as plant phenotyping, with automated systems, is a fairly new branch in plant science.


EMPHASIS-PREP_D2.6 Life cycle assessment.pdf

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Additional details


EMPHASIS-PREP – Preparation for EMPHASIS: European Infrastructure for multi-scale Plant Phenomics and Simulation for food security in a changing climate 739514
European Commission