Policy guidelines for agricultural research workshop

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture’s new department organised a workshop on 10th of November.

The new EIP-Agri department is leaded by Livia Kránitz, their function is to organise the Hungarian agricultural innovation sector. The department’s aim is to establish a sustainable and innovative Hungarian agriculture. The workshop was the first milestone on this way. The purpose was to collect institutes, companies, universities and research centres, and create a dialogue between them, and find answers for the strategic questions.

The goals of these workshops are to establish the Hungarian EIP- Agri network, connect the actors, and explore those strategic sectors, topics, and challenges which are the key factors of the Hungarian agriculture in the next period (2014-2020). Hungarian institutes participated with 78 participants and discussed topics and results which are relevant for the agricultural innovation’s future.

The workshop was opened by Dr. Zsolt Feldman, who highlighted: the Ministry finds EIP-Agri one of the leading resources to innovate the national agriculture, therefore they established a separate department to achieve this goal. Livia Kránitz introduced the functions of the new department and the opportunities of EIP-Agri. EIP-Agri aims to create a bridge between the research and development sector and the practical experiences. In this bottom-up system actors should find problems and create solutions, while institutes are supporting them.

After the opening and the introductions, the workshop was separated into two main tasks, and the participants had to create seven groups along the seven themes. Discovery R&D Center (as an actor) participated in two groups at the workshop. The seven themes were:

  • Decreasing dependence in fossil energy sources
  • Opportunities of protein plants (feed)
  • East-Central Europe, buffer-zone of the pathogens from the East
  • Defending the natural resources, and biodiversity
  • Opportunities of the agriculture developing
  • Efficiency of short supply chains
  • Alternatives of consume behaviour effects

Groups had to discuss their themes, explore problems in that sector and turn up with a new explanation. After they identified the problem and found the solution, they had to present how they would fix it. What kind of capabilities and connection do they have, and what kind of suspected innovations they need in the future? At the end of the workshop participants had to vote for the most important topics. The two most relevant themes were: Defending the natural resources, and biodiversity, as well as Opportunities of agriculture development.

The workshop created a chance for specialists to communicate, discuss other topics, and build connections, which will be very useful in the future of national EIP-Agri. The workshop was suitable to explore the cardinal themes. The Ministry plans to organize another workshop in January 2016 to develop internal information flow between specialists. The other goal is to help farmers to find different innovation centers in the country, and together build new agricultural innovations in a bottom-up way.

The workshop was useful for the Discovery R&D Center. We met other actors (institutes, universities, government). We found new partners, and ideas. We plan to cooperate with the new Ministry department to discover more and more ideas and connections to improve the Hungarian agriculture in the future.