The second DivSeek Partners Assembly took place in Saskatoon from 17 June 2016. Over 60 individuals from DivSeek partner organisations took part in the assembly, which discussed the future path for the DivSeek Initiative, how it will function and meet the needs of its partners.
The assembly discussed and approved an updated version of its Charter that reflects the fact that DivSeek is maturing as initiative and allows DivSeek Partners to have a more active role in the initiative via Working Groups. The current version of the charter is available to download here http://www.divseek.org/documents/.
The Working Group concept approved by the assembly will provide a key mechanism for DivSeek Partners to actively engage and address issues of importance for the DivSeek community. The Working Groups are tasked with advancing the mission and aims of DIVSEEK. These are to help harness the power of crop diversity for food and nutritional security and for societal and economic benefits by enabling breeders and researchers to more efficiently access and mobilize genetic variation in order to accelerate crop improvement. The Working Groups will be proposed and established by the DivSeek Partners.
The Assembly also discussed and agreed on a framework for multiyear workplan that would cover the following topics
· Learning from Existing projects
· Outreach to Stakeholders
· Developing Working Groups
· Hosting Meetings and Workshops
· Coordinating and managing DivSeek Operations
The Partners were provided with updates since the Jan. 2016 roundtable discussions in San Diego that included a) extension of the landscape study to 128 projects b) hosting of two workshops, one on “Harmonizing Phenotyping and Agronomy Data and Metadata” and one on “Introduction to key international laws and regulations governing plant genetic resources” held before the Assembly, and c) election of new members of the steering committee.
During the afternoon session the partners had a brain storming session on developing uses cases for genomic and phenotypic information associated with genebanks, followed by a tour of the Plant Genetic Resources Facilities in Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan Field Lab.