Director of Agriculture Institute of Slovenia, Andrej Simončič, PhD presented the vision of SLO-ACE, future Center of Excellence for Agrcultural Sciences, and infrastructure construction plans.
Meta Čandek-Potokar, PhD from Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS) and Bénédicte Lebret, PhD from French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) attended the meeting, held in Dubrovnik (Croatia), from 27th to 31stAugust 2018. The purpose of their participation was to present the work in the field of sustainable production of high quality beef and pork in Slovenia, focused on SLO-ACE project.
For decades, the Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science hosts scientists and experts from the field of animal science from Europe and other countries. The EAAP Congress provides insights into the latest research results from many areas of animal science. Annual Meeting gives an opportunity for the application of new ideas in practice. EAAP is one of the largest animal science congresses in the world – with approximately 1000 participants from more than 50 countries.
The most important international agricultural-food fair in Central Europe AGRA, for the 56th time opened its doors on August 25th in Gornja Radgona (Slovenia), on the crossroads of three borders. It highlighted young people in the agro-industry, generational renewal, digitization, innovation, know-how and networking. The exhibition area of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia was held in the sign of the 120th anniversary of the Institute’s activities, celebrated this year. At the same time, special attention was paid to the presentation of the construction of the Center of Excellence for Agricultural Sciences SLO-ACE, which is planned in the near future, and the officially signed Letter of Commitment for support of SLO-ACE under the Horizon 2020 call “WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2” between Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises (CCIS-CAFE) and Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS).
The AGRA Fair was visited by a number of ministers, ministerial and economic delegations from Europe and the world and it was traditionally opened by the President of the Republic of Slovenia in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, ministers and ministerial delegations from the European Union, representatives of embassies and other top economic and political representatives from Slovenia, Europe and the World. Every year the AGRA Fair receives excellent media attention. It is accredited to over 230 journalists from Slovenia and abroad, who report on the fair, and from it, in over 800 journalistic contributions. Over 95% of its exhibitors assess the fair performance as successful, and this assessment also confirms the continuity of participation.
CCIS-CAFE is the main and the biggest representative organization for food industry in Slovenia. It represents branch interests of around 180 agricultural and food companies, registered in Slovenia vs. Slovenian governmental and non-governmental institutions/organisations, as well as in equivalent EU associations. The very close collaboration to the food industry rounds up the wide range of possibilities and highlights the association as a multiple purpose adviser. As representative of the national food industry association, CCIS-CAFE has an important role in managing the strategic development innovation partnership SRIP HRANA for the thematic area of Sustainable food production. CCIS-CAFE is being recognised as an important stakeholder in the local, regional, national and EU food innovation eco-system with strong outreach. CCIS-CAFE sees SLO-ACE as an important stakeholder in defining and developing research agenda for the specific needs of different businesses.
The main objective of SRIP HRANA (Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership “Sustainable Food”) is personal growth and development of the agro-food sector and consequentially the entire Slovenian economy. It aims to form modern and sustainable operations of chains, which will ensure uninterrupted supply with high quality food products on the domestic market as well as developmental breakthrough on the international market. Primary interest of SRIP HRANA is progress/growth/evolution/development of those in agricultural chain who exploit the natural and structural features, while ensuring the supply of products to their population. The SRIP HRANA partnership already associates the main Slovenian organizations in the field of agriculture and food, three largest Slovenian universities and four the most important research institutions in Slovenia, including the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, and other important organizations in the field of agriculture, food, nutrition and food technology.
There are 5 areas of joint development of SRIP HRANA action pillars:
– raw material quality management for sustainable vegetable food production and processing and for sustainable livestock production with an emphasis on risk management and reduction of environmental impact;
– optimization of agro-food processes based on automatization, digitalization and robotization;
– development and use of advanced technologies in the production and processing of food; development and use of advanced materials;
– ensuring food safety, detecting food fraud at all stages of food production and processing and
– monitoring changes in the habits of consumers and the perception of individual aspects of food (packaging, new technologies, advertising, food labels, etc.) in order to efficiently plan the development of new functional foods and study the effects of food and nutrition on human health and the role of the consumer in the food offer for further development.
Between 23rd and 27th of July 2018, two researchers from KIS, Franc Čuš, PhD and Klemen Lisjak, PhD visited research facilities of INRA Montpellier, INRA Pech Rouge and INRA/ISVV Bordeaux. The aim of the visit was to discuss and determine research work for viticulture and oenology pillar within next 6 years of the SLO-ACE project. Research activities will include 4 topics (wine microbiology and chemistry, sensory analysis, and new or improved technologies in grape and wine production) with 3 PhD and 1 PostDoc student included one in each topic. Slovenian researchers were hosted by prof. Jean-Marie Sablayrolles (Montpellier) and prof. Philippe Darriet (Bordeaux) and had great opportunity to meet different research groups working on grape and wine microbiology, polyphenols, aroma compounds, sensory science, bioactive compounds, technology process and viticulture. Future cooperation within research institution will significantly and positively impact research in grape and wine sector in Slovenia. The excellence in grape and wine research will result in better competitiveness of Slovenian viticulture and recognition of Slovenian wines.
Final conference of the SLO-ACE project was held in Ljubljana on Wednesday, the 4th of July 2018 and had important media coverge. Representatives of the consortium, stakeholders and policy makers as well as international partners and invited speakers from abroad attended the event. The targeted number of participants was outreached.
Guests were welcomed by Director of Agricultural Institute of Ljubljana (KIS), Andrej Simončič, PhD. The event continued with the speech of Tanja Strniša, MSc., state secretary at Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF) and Peter Volasko, MSc. from Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (MIZŠ). The SLO-ACE project was presented by coordinator Vladimir Meglič, PhD. Special attention was given to partner institutions. French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) was represented by Jean-Francois Hocquette and Aarhus University (AU) by Per Kudsk. The basic research areas (Crop production, Viticulture and Oenology and Meat production) and the purpose of their further development were defined by the pillar leaders from the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Peter Dolničar, PhD, Franc Čuš, PhD and Marjeta Čandek-Potokar, PhD.
The event continued with a round table, moderated by journalist Petra Šubic. In the discussion were included the Director of KIS, Andrej Simončič, PhD, Tanja Strniša, MSc. (MAFF), Peter Volasko, MSc. (MESS), Emil Erjavec, PhD (vice dean at Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana), Tatjana Zagorc, PhD (director Chamber of Agriculture and Food Enterprises CCIS-CAFE) and Branko Ravnik (director Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia).
The conference was concluded by invited foreign lecturers, who presented the operational centers of excellence in the world:
- Jean-Marie Sablayrolles, PhD (INRA, France): UMR Sciences for Enology: Institutional, Organisational and Partnership Aspects;
- Philippe Darriet, PhD (University of Bordeaux, France): Research Unit in Enology INRA-University of Bordeaux. Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences. Positioning and Partnerships;
- Zlatko Šatović, PhD (University of Zagreb & CroP-BioDiv, Croatia): The Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding (CoE CroPBioDiv): Objectives and Activities.
- A guest from Australia, Frank Rowland Dunshea, PhD should also give a lecture via video call: about Government, versity and Industry Co-investment in Agricultural Research – An Australian Perspective, but due to technical problems he faced in Australia that was not possible.
Potato Open Day was held on experimental fields of Infrastructure center Jablje at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia on Thursday, June 21st 2018.
The main purpose of Potato Open Day was to invite the potato growers, potato suppliers, extension service, representatives of farmers cooperatives, agricultural holdings, secondary schools, universities and the other professionals to visit experimental potato fields at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and to present to the professional audience the Slovenian Center of Excellence for Agricultural Sciences SLO-ACE.
In the discussion after the visit of experimental fields the future advantages and benefit of SLO-ACE to Slovenian potato sector, potato growers and industry was presented and discussed. The SLO-ACE was welcomed by the audience. Future possibilities of cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer between SLO-ACE, extension service, agricultural schools and other institutions were discussed.