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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: FP7 » GM microorganisms "sold" as key soil solution

version: 5 / updated: 2011-01-27
id: #1512 / version id: #209
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Yanuar Nugroho
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Maurizio Sajeva
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 6 - Environment (including Climate Change)

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Environmental technologies for observation, simulation, prevention, mitigation, adaptation

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
ISOIL (211386)


(max. 9 words)

GM microorganisms "sold" as key soil solution


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Soil degradation is a serious problem in Europe. The degradation is driven or exacerbated by human activity and has a direct impact on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate and human life-quality. Research on genetically modified microorganisms that can mitigate such degradation and restore soil fertility had been developed but was not implemented at large scale due to unknown risks such as genetic mutation of the microorganism whose impact is impossible to anticipate. Despite criticism, the EU government has given green light for the use of the technology at EU level.


soil deterioration, GM micro-organism


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of systems affected

Natural Systems - E.g. landscapes, mountains, oceans, rivers, forests, and the like




please specify:
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

cultural/religious filters (values, traditions, faith, spiritual beliefs)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)
political filters (party or ideological interests)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


scientific filters (knowledge/technology access) + political filters (party or ideological interests): * precautionary principle being compromised * governments do not want to spark panic/speculation Probably pervasive (contagious or transmittable): once mutation occurs, the impact is impossible to be anticipated Change in stakeholders relations/influence + Emergence of a new system: * tension between public - state - business because of the unknown risks of GM microorganism technology in the soil * new farming/plantation technology to deal with the GM impact

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Technological/Scientific genetic modification technology
Environmental soil degradation and damaged fertility

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) governance regulation regulation

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Diseases, health and well-being
Social pathologies & ethics
Techno-security, hazard & risk
Sustainability and climate change

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Health nutrition content of food may change
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology nutrition content of food may change
Environment (including Climate Change) impact to soil fertility

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Increasing the efficiency and impact of public research through Joint Programming (i.e. combining national and pan-European research efforts) or the optimisation of research programmes and priorities, for example. Positive. 2014-2020
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology Positive. 2014-2020

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.