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New and historic WIPO treaty on intellectual property, genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge

On May 24, 2024, the member states of WIPO adopted what the organization describes as a “historic” Treaty on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge. As stated by WIPO, marking a historic breakthrough that capped decades of negotiations.

The Treatry Document can be consulted in the following links:






Praise for the tomato genetic resources center TGRC and best wishes for an important and brilliant future

The future of our food system relies on our ability to breed varieties that are able to produce good yield in climate change conditions like drought, increase salinity and extreme temperatures and at the same time are resistant to emerging diseases. 




HARNESSTOM leading role in constructing a tomato production chain to valorize agrobiodiversity in Lazio

The meeting "Costruzione della filiera del pomodoro per la valorizzazione della biodiversità del Lazio" ("Building the tomato production chain for the valorisation of Lazio's agrobiodiversity"), jointly organised by the University of Tuscia (UNITUS, Viterbo, Italy), the association Rete Semi Rurali and the Agency for the agricultural development of the Lazio region (ARSIAL), was held on 18 April at the experimental farm of the University of Tuscia.




GRAPEDIA and HARNESSTOM DB a tale of two berries / databases with common interests

Scientists from the grape research community and the tomato HARNESSTOM project met on the 15th of April 2024 to find possibilities of collaboration between databases developers working in each of the two research communities. 




HARNESSTOM tomato trials well underway at CTAEX to evaluate rootstock performance under reduce wated use conditions

Harnesstom is conducting a large set of tomato trials in Extremadura, one of the largest processing tomatoes producing area in Europe located in Southwest Spain. The trial is conducted using combinations of elite varieties grafted on a number of selected rootstocks aimed to reduce 30% of the water normally used.  





HARNESSTOM reaches out to Citizens:  HARNESSTOM liaison with IMPETUS

HARNESSTOM was awarded a European Citizen Science Honorary prize last year and early on January 2024 the coordinator Antonio Granell and citizen science workpackage leader in HARNESSTOM Joan Casals were interviewed by IMPETUS.






HARNESSTOM scientists close with a flourish the active collaboration with RoxyCOST

The RoxyCOST final meeting took place at the NH Gran Hotel in Zaragoza from 6th March to 8th March 2024 with the participation of close to 60 participants from more than 15 countries. Maria José Rubio and Jerome Grimplet from CITA ( were the local organizers.  

The collaboration between RoxyCOST and HARNESSTOM has been very fruitful during the last three years of coexistence of the two projects. 




HARNESSTOMDB Datathon: A Hands-on Training Course on the HARNESTOM Tomato Database

The first HARNESSTOM DB Datathon took place at the NH Gran Hotel in Saragossa on March 4th and 5th, 2024, The course was coorganized by HARNESSTOM together with RoxyCOST and with Maria Jose Rubio and Jerome Grimjplet from CITA as local organizers (




HARNESSTOM partners with young scientists at the IBMCP in support of NGTs the day before the regulation was backed by EU Parliament

The plenary session of the European Parliament voted on February 7 in favor of the new regulation on agricultural crops obtained by new genomic technique/genome editing. This vote can be considered a historic one because the new regulation will serve to support innovation, crop improvement, and will take advantage of decades of basic and applied research. 

HARNESSTOM partners have supported NGTs and several members participated in different initiatives that gained momentum in the last two weeks in relation to the ongoing process.




HARNESSTOM: 2nd Review Meeting
Steady and huge progress made by HARNESSTOM on the use GenRes materias /info to produce high quality fruit in the face of emerging diseases and climate change.”

The second review meeting of the HARNESSTOM project took place online on Dec 15th, 2023, where partner present the progress made during the last 18 months of the project (April 2021 till Sep 2023).





The best tomatoes to be selected during a Traditional European Tomato Tasting

A tomato taste was organized by the spanish Harnesstom partners from the CSIC at the IBMCP, as part of the activities of interaction with the interdisciplinary thematic platform Agrofor. The tasting took place at the COMAV meeting room (Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación, Ed 8E, Valencia Spain) on 13th December 2023.













More than fifty scientists and breeders from Harnesstom ( gathered in Toulouse for 2 days (from November 14 till November 15, 2023) to discuss the latest results on the use of GenRes for improving tomato. 




Successful Workshop on plant genetic resources and New Breeding Techniques

HARNESSTOM partners from IBMCP (CSIC-UPV) and Fundación Grupo Cajamar organized in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Technology Platform AGROFOR a workshop entitled Genetic Resources and New Breeding Techniques (NBT) as a forum to discuss the importance of genetic resources and the possibilities of NGTs to solve the problems that agriculture is facing nowadays and in the future.

The workshop took place on Oct 26 at the Fundación Grupo Cajamar facilities in Paiporta.


More information about the workshop can be obtained at:




New Genomic Techniques on stage at the European Parliament

A workshop on New Genomic Techniques organized by the Social Democrat group took place at the European Parliament on the 10th October, 2023. This workshop is part of a series of activities organized from the Spanish Group to get feedback for the NGT proposal and generate the appropriate discussion environment that will be summarized by the Commission and presented to the European Parliament and Council for the legislative debate. The workshop was attended by around 100 people including MEPs from different countries and political sectors in EU, producers and breeders and other professional associations. 




HARNESSTOM partners discuss New Genomic Techniques and the EC proposal about them at BIOSPAIN 2023

Antonio Granell, coordinator of the EU-project Harnesstom and Diego Orzaez a genome editing expert and CSC scientist in  the project, have participated in a round table on New Genomic Techniques organized by the Spanish Association for Biotechnology Asebio. The round table took place on the 6th of September in BioSpain 2023, Fira de Barcelona. 





HARNESSTOM Workshop on New Breeding Technologies in Agriculture for farmers

The workshop entitled “The Genome Editing Technologies in Agriculture” took place on line in September 23, 2023 from 11:00 to 14:00 and was addressed to farmers, farmers association, cooperatives and farmers unions.






HARNESSTOM takes place in a Workshop on the sustainable management of plant genetic resources 

The Workshop on the sustainable management of plant genetic resources (PRO-GRACE) took place on Tuesday, Oct 3 at 9.30 to Wednesday, Oct 4 at 13.30 Eastern European time at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Chania, Greece.




HARNESSTOM coordinator participates in a Session on New Genomic Techniques at the European Parliament

The workshop on New genomic techniques: An opportunity for European Research and Agrifood System will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 10th of October 2023. Hosted by the members of the European Parliament (MEP) Clara Aguilera, Inmaculada Rodriguez-Piñero and Marcos Ros it will be an excellent opportunity for scientist to directly interact with the MEP and give their scientific views on the new genomic techniques and the importance of the proposal that was made on July 6th l for a new Regulation on plants produced by certain new genomic techniques  and that MEP will have to discuss internally and vote in the near future.










Successful edition of the Advanced Training School on Tomato Databases and their use to link genotypes to phenotypes

The training school took place on line on September 28th and it was organized as part of the training activities of the EU-funded project HARNESSTOM. 








Harnesstom at the annual congress of the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics

The 66 Annual Congress of the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics took place in Bari, Italy from the 5th to the 8th of September  with a stimulating scientific program  under the topic ”Climate-smart plants to feed the Future”. Four Harnesstom partners and the Harnesstom coordinator participated.






Thanks to the invaluable collaboration with numerous citizen scientists who assisted us in phenotyping a diverse collection of tomato varieties, we have prepared a series of "Pills of Science" to show the key aspects of tomato phenotyping. Dive in the fascinating world of tomato phenotyping.


You can download the Pills in different languages by clicking on the following link:










The Harnesstom phenotyping training course closes its first edition successfully, with more than 150 participants in the various activities

From July 3rd to 13th, the Harnesstom and RoxyCost initiatives jointly organized the "Tomato Plant and Fruit Phenotyping Training Course," engaging in various activities over 120 participants from 15 countries and 52 institutions. 


The course videos can be found at the following link




The European Commission releases a regulatory proposal for plants and new genomic techniques

The European Commission has just published (Nov 7, 2023) a regulatory proposal aimed to create a proportionate regulatory environment that would facilitate the use of genome-edited plants in Europe. 

More information at 




Harnestom crosspollination with geneticists at the Meeting of the Spanish Society of Genetics

The XLIII Congress of the Spanish Genetics Society (SEG) is the main Spanish scientific event where multiple aspects of Genetics Research and education are discussed. On this occasion the meeting was held at the Polytechnic University of Valencia from the 21st to 23rd of June 2023.





Spanish Harnesstom partners leading role in the EIP Agri operational group FitoNet

Spanish Harnesstom partners CSIC (as part of the interdisciplinary thematic platform Agrofor), and FCCV, with the collaboration of UPV partners, are actively working on the operational group FitoNet








Harnesstom participates in Phytofactories

Phytofactories 2023, an international conference on Plant Molecular Farming, took place on 7-9 June 2023 in Luxembourg and was organized by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). Phytofactories 2023 has some commonalities with Harnesstom as it is centered on the exploitation of plant diversity although preferentially using cell and tissue cultures and aims as HARNESSTOM to cover the valorization chain of plant resources. 



Harnesstom interaction with the  EU project InnCoCells

InnCoCells  is a Horizon 2020 project launched in 2021  aiming to develop innovative plant-based production processes for the commercial exploitation of scientifically validated cosmetic ingredients using profitable and sustainable cell cultures, aeroponic cultivation, and greenhouse/field cultivation (more info ).
Interest of HARNESSTOM in InnCoCells activities derived from the potential interest of many specialized compounds in tomato for innovation in industrial applications, in addition to their contribution to fruit quality or to the adaptation/response to the plant to biotic and abiotic stresses that are the objectives of some of the prebreeding programs in Harnesstom.  




HARNESSTOM provides examples of successful tomato Genome Editing in a dedicated Spring Seminar at INAGEA Universitat de les Illes Balears

The Seminar was held on May 17 and 18 at the "Univertsitat de les Illes Balears" (Mallorca), was organized by INAGEA and provided a scientific forum for meeting and discussion between researchers from different branches of knowledge in the agri-environmental field. 




The Citizen Science and Participatory Selection platform of HARNESSTOM receives recognition from the European Union in the European Citizen Science Awards

The HARNESSTOM project has received an honorable mention in the European Union Prize for Citizen Science, which were awarded on May 22, 2023, for its task of participatory research with citizens and farmers on the genetic diversity of the tomato.




Setting up the heat tolerance and fruit quality experiments for HARNESSTOM

Successful set up and transplantation for the heat tolerance and fruit quality experiments took place at the FCCV facilities in Paiporta (Valencia) during March and April. 





HARNESSTOM supports new plant breeding techniques at the ARRIGE meeting

HARNESSTOM coordinator has participated in the ARRIGE workshop on “Genome Editing in Plants (and Animals) in the European Union versus other countries in the world” that held as both in presence (CNB in Madrid) and virtual one day meeting on May 9th, 2023.




HARNESSTOM coordinator participates in the ROXYCOST annual meeting in Antalya"

The third annual meeting of the RoxyCost network (CA18210; ) took place in Antalya Turkey from the 11 to the 14 of April 2023. The meeting was attended by over 60 participants from 22 countries.




The importance of WP5 “Improving resistance against (emerging) disease” work in HARNESSTOM project

In the EU project HARNESSTOM, one of our objectives is to improve tomato resistance against three emerging diseases caused by a tobamovirus - ToBRFV (Tomato brown rugose fruit virus), a begomovirus - ToLCNDV (Tomato leaf curl new Delhi virus) and a fugus - Fulvia fulva (syn. Cladosporium fulvum). 




HARNESSTOM presents his views at The Workshop on IP and access to Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) workshop that took place in Dresden, Germany

Harnesstom project coordinator Antonio Granell has participated in the Workshop “Pre-breeding materials: a grey zone between Genetic Resources and Cultivars - Introduction on regulatory aspects and protection of Intellectual Property” organized by the EU-funded sister project BreedingValue. The meeting took place at the University of Applied Sciences, HTW Dresden Campus Pillnitz, Germany, on the 15th of March 2023 with over 50 people attending on the premises and 100+ connected via zoom.




Interview to Toni Granell, HARNESSTOM coordinator, in the newspaper "HOY EXTREMADURA"

Last Sunday, March 12, 2023, the interview to Toni Granell, HARNESSTOM project coordinator, was published in the newspaper "HOY EXTREMADURA".





HARNESSTOM Carotenoid and apocarotenoid research at the Gordon Conference in Ventura CA

The prestigious Gordon Conference on Carotenoids took place from January 8 to January 13 2023 at is traditional location in Ventura and was an excellent opportunity for HARNESSTOM researchers to present and discuss the latest advances in carotenoid and apocarotenoid research with other researchers reaching out to those from different fields including nutritionist and health specialists. 





On 29-30 November 2022 Dr. Carlo Rosati, from ENEA (Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Trisaia Res. Center, visited Prof. Bruno Mezzetti’s lab at Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona.
Bruno Mezzetti is the Coordinator of UE Project BREEDINGVALUE, whose main goal is to develop new breeding strategies for resilient and high-quality berries. Carlo Rosati participates in HARNESSTOM, a sister UE project (same Horizon 2020 framework) aimed at improving tomato by means of different prebreeding programs. HARNESSTOM WP7 aims to develop pre-breeding lines with improved flavor and health-related compounds, while maintaining optimal agronomic performance.







Tomato Farmers meet HARNESSTOM scientists in search for solution for the rugose virus

The Rugose Virus (short for the tomato brown rugose fruit virus, ToBRFV) is spreading quickly worldwide and is already causing large losses to tomato farmers in many countries including European countries. To be prepared for this emerging situation Joan Casals (FMA/UPC) leading scientist in participative breeding and citizen science activities in the HARNESSTOM and Antonio Granell coordinator of the project met with technical staff from Conca de la Tordera cooperative to discuss the current stage of research on the ToBRFV and the possible development of tomato varieties that are resistant to this virus, and possibilities for interaction. 




 The Farmers association “Granada La Palma’s” approach to highly quality tomatoes

Granada la Palma will present their company “ideal tomato” at the upcoming HARNESSTOM Training Course. More info about the course can be found below. Presentations will be Youtube short clips, with English subtitles. Non-English speakers can take advantage of Youtube’s automated subtitle translation. Participants will be able to ask questions. Simultaneous translation of answers will be available in several languages. 




Alicia Foundation provides chefs’ vision for the ideal tomato in the upcoming HARNESSTOM training workshop

Alicia will participate in the upcoming HARNESSTOM training workshop on “find your ideal tomato” by providing the view of the chefs and highlighting those characteristics they expect find in a tomato that will be different depending on the particular elaboration in mind.





Impact of Community Plant Variety Rights in the EU. EUIPO report data April 2022

A study carried out by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has analysed the impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system on the European Union's economy and environment. 




Use of genetic resources in plant breeding: United Nations Convention on Diversity (COP15), conclusions of the EU Council

On 24 October 2022, the Council of the European Union reported on the approval of the terms of reference for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), as well as the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya Protocol to be held from 7 to 19 December 2022 in Montreal.



HARNESSTOM at the Gordon Conference on Carotenoids

The prestigious Gordon Conferences opens in January 2023 a new venue for presenting and discussing the latest advances in carotenoid and apocarotenoid, research and scientists from HARNESSTOM have been invited to participate and present their results. The meeting will take place in Ventura, CA from January 8th to 13th and will gather the leading scientists in the field including senior and young scientist in a relax atmosphere to invite interaction and open discussion on carotenoid new and unpublished research.




HARNESSTOM meets the MEDFORUM community in Chania

The 4th Mediterranean Forum (Medforum) “Mediterranean Agriculture and Food Systems in a Time of Climate Change and Agrofood Crisis” for PhD students and young researchers is organized by CIHEAM Chania, under the aegis of the CIHEAM headquarters in Paris, and will be held on December 4th – 7th 2022 in Chania, Crete, Greece.





HARNESSTHARNESSTOM at the International Solanaceae Genomics Meeting SOL 2022OM 2nd ANNUAL MEETING

A large representation of the HARNESSTOM partnership will participate in the upcoming Solanaceae Genomics SOL2022 meeting that is organized in Thessaloniki, Greece, from the 1st to the 5th of November 2022.





The Second Annual Meeting of the HARNESSTOM project “Harnessing the value of tomato genetic resources for now and the future” will take place from the 31st of October until 1st of November in Thessaloniki, Greece.  




GenRes Networking Meeting strengthens the links between EU-Funded GenRes projects – 27th October 2022

A new GenRes Networking e-meeting took place on the 27th of October 2022 with the participation of most of the EU-funded projects working on this topic.






A Report on New Plant Breeding Technologies (NPBT) has been published by COSCE with contributions from HARNESSTOM coordinator

Harnesstom coordinator has participated in the elaboration of a report aimed to review the regulatory framework for Genomic Editing Techniques.  This report was commissioned by COSCE, the Spanish Confederation for Scientific Societies ( and it is intended to be used in informing politicians and members of the EU parliament about the NPBT.



HARNESSTOM liaison with the Mexican tomato community

HARNESSTOM coordinator Antonio Granell has been invited to participate in the Native and Ancestral Tomato Fair that will take place in Zimatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico on September 3 and 4, 2022.













HARNESSTOM members meet in Brussels for the 1st project review meeting

HARNESSTOM scientists, including the coordinator and workpackage leaders and IPs got together at the CSIC offices in Brussels on the 29th and 30th of June 2022. They included a pre-review meeting followed by the formal Review Meeting with the participation of two external reviewers:  Prof. Francisco Pérez Alfocea from Center of Edaphology and Applied Biology of the Segura, Murcia, and Prof. Diego Rubiales from the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture of Cordoba Spain and the project officer from REA:  Ms. Tatiana Tallarico. 




HARNESSTOM meets its Scientific Advisory Board to update and get feedback about the progress made by the project during the first 18 months

Scientists of the HARNESSTOM project met after the EUCARIA tomato meeting in Valencia, to update the members of the HARNESSTOM Scientific Advisory Board Roger Chetelat (TGRC, UC Davis, CA, USA) and Lukas Mueller (BTI, Ithaca, NY, USA). The meeting counted with the participation of over 25 HARNESSTOM partners and included all the workpackage leaders and the coordinator.





HARNESSTOM and VIRTIGATION two EU Funded project with common interests agree to join forces

HARNESSTOM continues to enlarge its network of interactions, this time with a related EU-funded project called VIRTIGATION ( “Emerging viral disease in tomatoes and cucurbits: implementation of mitigation strategies for durable disease management”.  









HARNESSTOM Networking activities with other EU funded projects on Genetic Resources

The Coordinators and managers of four EU Funded sister projects on plant genetic resources (HARNESSTOM, AGENT, BREEDINGVALUE and GEN4OLIVE) met on line April 28 for discussing specific actions to take in the following months in order to foster communication, interaction and collaboration among them. All parties agree that a new series of joint presentations like the one we had at Divseek will be good to provide updates on the progress made in during the first 2-3 years of the projects (Neils Stein from IPK –Gatersleben, Germany, will get it organized). 




 HARNESSTOM at the World Tomato Congress and Tomato Fair

The first day of the World Tomato Congress and Tomato fair took place in Nijar HARNESSTOM coordinator Antonio Granell was invited to participate and presented the HARENSSTOM project. Granell highlighted the importance of genetic resources not just for identifying sources of resistance agains ToBRFV but also to guarantee the sustainability of tomato production for now and for the future. The one hour presentations and discussion sessions were followed by a general Q & A roundtable session were the three speakers answered the questions collected from the audience which were mainly technicians and engineers from the farmers’ associations and breeding companies well established in the region.




 Exploitation in H2020 and in HARNESSTOM workshop

The first HARNESSTOM exploitation workshop took place this Monday 14 March via webex with the participation of seed companies: ENZA Zaden, Vilmorin Co, Gautier Semences, Semiorto Semence, and academia groups in HARNESSTOM. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce and discuss the increasing importance of Exploitation activities in H2020 and how HARNESSTOM addresses this issue.





Do you want to participate in a plant breeding program? In 2022, the Harnesstom project launches a Citizen Science experiment in Spain, Italy and Bulgaria, to select, using a participatory approach, the tastier tomato varieties. The participants will receive at home seeds of different pre-selected tomato varieties and will be invited to grow and study them in their fields or balconies. If you are interested in participating, register here
(the participation is free of charge)






“Identification of tomato accessions as source of new genes for improving heat tolerance: from controlled experiments to field” BMC Series Blog

This article has been published on the "BMC Series Blog" website on July 22, 2021. It’s the result of the joint work of some experts who are part of the HARNESSTOM project team, under the support of the European Commission H2020 Research and Innovation Programme through the TomGEM project and HARNESSTOM. 





Getting ahead of the future through the past

Dr. Antonio Granell, HARNESSTOM coordinator, gives an interview to the Mexican magazine JITOMATE, where he explains the project and its objectives, as well as the research in genetics and technological innovation that they are carrying out, in order to optimize the adaptability tomato varieties, in the face of the challenges to come challenges to come: high temperatures, water scarcity and excess salt in the water.











Researchers, companies and legislators ask for an urgent change in the EU legislation on Plant Genomic Techniques in a symposium organized by HARNESSTOM. 

The symposium "Genomic Editing of Crops: Beyond Science" took place on May 12 and brought together more than 400 virtual participants, among them prominent scientists, experts in Law and representatives of the Spanish agri-food sector, to review the status of genomic editing and its application to agriculture.





Crosspollination activities between HARNESSTOM members and legal and economic experts

On Friday 7 May several HARNESSTOM members took part on the International Meeting “CHALLENGES IN THE AGROFOOD SECTOR: COMPETENCE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY", organized by Felipe Palau (UPV) the HARNESSTOM expert in legal and IP issues. The meeting was a great success and gathered the attention of local government members including Mrs. Mireia Mollà Herrera, Council for Agriculture. Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Valencian Government who welcomed the participants and emphasized the relevance of the topic for Local, National and European economy.




Coordinators of Horizon 2020 Genetic Resources Projects Agree on a Roadmap for Joint Activities. 

The coordinators of five recently funded EU-projects, gather around a team’s virtual meeting platform to discuss possibilities for collaborations. The idea:  to find opportunities for joint actions, collaborations and common ground. For over 90 min HARNESSTOM coordinator Antonio Granell and four other projects agreed on the roadmap for joint activities. 




HARNESSTOM at the BreedingValue Kickoff meeting.  

Right after the start of the project HARNESSTOM coordinator Antonio Granell initiated contacts with the coordinators of other projects granted by the EU under the same topic/call H2020 SFS28-2020 “Genetic Resources and Pre-breeding communities”. Coordinators of several EU projects participated at the meeting and in the discussion from their own perspectives and crops (wheat and barley; olive; legumes and berries). A plan for future interactions will be discussed over email and in following virtual meetings soon.




Harnesstom tomatoes "better quality, more flavorful and more resistant to new viruses and emerging diseases








The Harnesstom project aims to develop better quality, more resistant and tastier tomatoes.

It is a project coordinated by Antonio Granell, CSIC research professor at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, and has a total budget of 8.07 million euros. It brings together 22 collaborating institutions from seven countries, including small and medium-sized enterprises, technology companies, crop companies, NGOs and farmers' associations, as well as various academic institutions. More information in the CSIC press release and on the project website (





A European project will promote from Valencia tomatoes of better quality and greater resistance to emerging diseases and climate change.

The Institute of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP), a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, has launched the European research project Harnesstom, an initiative that aims to achieve better quality tomato varieties with greater resistance to emerging diseases and climate change.





Harnessing the value of tomato genetic resources for now and the future.

Objectif: Tomato is a paradigm of crop domestication: a widely cultivated and consumed vegetable but with reduced genetic diversity and therefore highly vulnerable to emerging diseases and climate change. Fortunately, tomato is rich in genetic resources and information to overcome those difficulties and a coalition of scientists and breeding experts which have generated a large amount of this information have been organized under an effective management structure and a series of objectives to overcome those threats....



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