The project is being driven by the public's desire for fewer pesticide residues on crops and the continuous reduction in the types of agro-chemicals available to farmers and growers.
The Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) is one of the partners in the PURE project, which stands for Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction in European Farming Systems with Integrated Pest Management.
The project is focusing on developing integrated pest and disease management techniques for major EU crops. Other crops being researched in the programme include grapevines and protected vegetables grown under polytunnels, and wheat and maize.
The project consortium includes a range of top research and industry partners from across Europe. As part of the project, SCRI is receiving £600,000 funding over four years that will create several new jobs at the institute.
SCRI will contribute to several areas of work in the project, including the conservation of beneficial insects, landscape engineering and novel ways to boost plant defences using elicitors.
The institute is also going to be a test site for new integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) strategies in wheat and brassica production systems.
Dr Graham Begg of SCRI's environment plant interactions programme, who will lead research into the role of ecological engineering in IPDM, said: "With the reduction in available pesticides, growers will have to look to different and more innovative methods of managing crops and the PURE project will support that move".