Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) is a non-profit, Public Entity Research Institute founded in 1929. Researchers with expertise in entomology, plant pathology (including non-parasitic disorders), weed science, chemistry, toxicology and pesticides control conduct fundamental and applied research related to crop protection and safe use of pesticides for human health and the environment. The core activities of the Institute are to diagnose problems in agriculture, acquire knowledge and provide advice for the prevention and control of plant insect pests/diseases in regard to key EU Directives concerning the protection of the environment and the consumers. BPI is the Reference Institute in the country for the phytosanitary control of quarantine pests and monitoring of pesticide residues in agricultural commodities. BPI staff participates in several research projects (EU funded, Bilateral, National) and expert groups (EU-International Organizations, National Mandated Bodies), and in training and consultancy services to Ministry of Rural Development and Food, agronomists, farmers and traders. Particularly for mosquitoes, BPI is specialized in taxonomy, bioecology and management and entomologist experts are participating in many committees of Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity and Ministry of Rural Development and Food about mosquitos’ management guidelines.
The Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology conducts research on the morphology, systematics, phylogeny, biodiversity, zoogeography, spatial distribution, biology, ecology and behavior of insects, mites, and nematodes of economic importance. The Department is the scientific leader of the national project for the quarantine pests in Greece (National program funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food). Researchers of the Department contribute to BPI’s plant-protection mission through the application of Integrated Pest Management Innovations in agriculture or biological control methods. A series of insect, mite and nematode cultures are kept in the insectaries for experimentation. Several research competitive projects have or are being carried out by the staff of the Department in the frame of LIFE+, FP-7, EU projects such as Hellenic Aid, national projects, other projects funded by the Hellenic General Secretariat of Research and Technology (e.g. Bilateral, AKMON, PAVET). Researchers of the Department participate in expert working groups of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) and National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) for developing Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) for non-indigenous species and their impact to the environment. In addition, services have been provided to stakeholders such as Industry, Agricultural Cooperatives, and public authorities.