The Decathlon project will bring together a broad range of experts and expertise to jointly work on the development of new or improved methods that are needed in the field of 1) food pathogens, 2) traceability of GMOs and 3) customs issues. The project will develop advanced methods for all three application areas with method characteristics that meet the requirements of the individual areas, as will be laid down in minimal performance parameters (MPPs) for the types of methods as will be developed within the Decathlon project.
Decathlon brings together all relevant molecular biological and bioinformatics expertise through the participation of expert European researchers in the respective fields of application. Besides technical experts, also field-related, application-oriented scientists will participate for the three areas of interest, which are fully aware of the user requirements for the methods to be developed, also in the light of current and future European regulations. By combining this awareness with technical expertise, user requirements will be translated into technical and bioinformatics method requirements that will form the starting-point for the molecular biological technical methods (including any related bioinformatics module, where applicable) to be developed.
In this way the Decathlon project will develop focused DNA-based (on-site) methods for the identified areas of food pathogens, GMOs and customs issues, and at the same time stimulate the development of DNA methods for similar applications in numerous other fields that require high-quality, focused DNA-based detection and identification methods. Decathlon will provide the roadmap and blueprint for this broader application of all methods and modules developed in Decathlon. Furthermore, Decathlon will have the cooperation platform and network in place that will be extended effectively throughout the duration of the project as a consolidated European network of analytical experts.