Skip to main content

Unlocking Animal Food Quality Research Potential in Baltic Region by Developing Scientific and Technical Capacities of the Research Institute “Sigra”

Final Report Summary - BALTFOODQUAL (Unlocking Animal Food Quality Research Potential in Baltic Region by Developing Scientific and Technical Capacities of the Research Institute “Sigra”)



Executive Summary:

The concept of the project

The concept of the project was to develop scientific and technological potential of the promising research centre of Latvia - Research Institute Sigra, in order to enforce high level animal feed and food quality research in collaboration with research teams from other EU countries, as well as contribute through the targeted cooperation to the development of research capacity of Baltic region and its integration in the European Research Area.

Long term objective of the project:

To stimulate realisation of full research potential of the enlarged European Union by unlocking and developing existing research potential in one of the convergence regions - Baltic.

Short term objectives:

1. To strengthen capacity of researchers of the Research Institute Sigra to participate at EU level in the research projects and activities on animal feed and food quality and their impact on consumers health.
2. To improve technical capacity of the Research Institute Sigra to carry out high quality research on animal feed and food quality.
3. To promote collaboration with other research institutions in European Research Area, having similar scientific interest in order to use research capacity more synergetic and efficiently.

Main activities implemented:

1. Secondments of research staff.
2. Development of "Collaboration Research Program".
3. Acquisition and development of research equipment for 3 laboratories: feed laboratory, microbiology laboratory, and microbiology laboratory.
4. Conferences and workshops, organised by the RI Sigra.
5. Participation in international exhibitions and congresses, in order to disseminate information about the project and the research institute.
6. Publishing and dissemination of the brochure.
7. Publications in scientific journals.
8. Publications in media: TV, magazines, newspapers, internet.

Results achieved:

1. Capacity of researchers of the Research Institute Sigra to participate at EU level in the research projects and activities on animal feed and food quality is increased.
2. Technical capacity of the Research Institute Sigra to carry out high quality research on animal feed and food quality is improved.
3. Collaboration with other research institutions in European Research Area, having similar scientific interest in order to use research capacity more synergetic and efficiently is promoted.

Exploitation of results

Knowledge, skills and experience of researchers are already in exploitation for carrying high quality research in order to satisfy demands of industries for innovative, competitive technologies ensuring production of high quality food needed for and demanded by customers. High quality research equipment acquired is ensuring provision of high quality research, carried in order to satisfy demands of industries. Partnership developed with research teams from EU and other countries has created preconditions for joint projects and research activities. Several of research activities are under planning and preparation. Increased capacity of RI Sigra to participate in FP7 projects is facilitating participation in other projects.

The project BALTFOODQUAL has achieved its main objective - scientific and technological potential of the Research Institute Sigra is developed. High-level animal feed and food quality research in collaboration with research teams from other EU countries is promoted. Development of research capacity of Baltic region and its integration in the European Research Area is facilitated.

Project Context and Objectives:

The concept

The concept of the project was to develop S&T potential of the promising research centre of Latvia - Research Institute Sigra, in order to enforce high level animal feed and food quality research in collaboration with research teams from other EU countries, as well as contribute through the targeted cooperation to the development of research capacity of Baltic region and its integration in the European Research Area.

Long term objective of the project:

To stimulate realisation of full research potential of the enlarged European Union by unlocking and developing existing research potential in one of the convergence regions - Baltic.

Short term objectives:

1. To strengthen capacity of researchers of the Research Institute Sigra to participate at EU level in the research projects and activities on animal feed and food quality and their impact on consumers health.
2. To improve technical capacity of the Research Institute Sigra to carry out high quality research on animal feed and food quality.
3. To promote collaboration with other research institutions in European Research Area, having similar scientific interest in order to use research capacity more synergetic and efficiently.

Scientific and technological potential was developed:

1. By supporting and mobilising human and material resources of the RI Sigra.
2. By developing strategic partnerships with well established research groups of the research centres in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania having similar scientific interest.
3. By facilitating communication between these centres.
4. By dissemination of scientific information and results of research across the European Research Area.
5. By improving responses of RI Sigra to socio-economic needs of Latvia and the Baltic region.

Project Results:

Main results achieved are the following:

1. Capacity of researchers of the Research Institute Sigra to participate at EU level in the research projects and activities on animal feed and food quality is increased:

a) 6 secondments, held during the project, have ensured exchange of knowledge and experience with colleagues from research institutions in Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden, have provided opportunity to work with the equipment of partner organisations, thus increasing research skills, to study literature, and to plan joint research activities and projects with partner institutions;
b) Participation of research staff in 23 international scientific events: congresses, conferences and exhibitions has promoted increase of capacity of researchers to speak at events, to develop partnerships, and to obtain new knowledge brought to events by other research institutions;
c) Organisation of conferences and workshops has increased competences to organise scientific events and capacity of researchers to speak at events and to develop partnerships, as well ensured possibility to obtain new knowledge brought to events by other research institutions;
d) Elaboration of publications, to be used for presentation of scientific achievements, promoted acquiring of experience to deal with scientific articles disseminated at international level;
e) Practising to work with new research equipment, acquired in a frame of the project, has ensured increase of skills and competence level to use research facilities.

Activities implemented have promoted and have led to the achievement of the objective set in the project proposal - to increase capacity of researchers.

2. Technical capacity of the Research Institute Sigra to carry out high quality research on animal feed and food quality is improved: research equipment for 3 laboratories is purchased:

a) For feed laboratory: drying boxes and gas analyzer, for microbiology laboratory: clinical bacteriology thermostats, drying boxes, kryocamera, fluorescene microscope and for histology laboratory: processor for processing of tissue samples, equipment for preparation of tissues for further research purposes, microtome, video microscope system;
b) Premises for installation of the equipment were renovated on the expense of RI Sigra;
c) Research staff was trained to work with the equipment purchased.

Activities implemented have promoted and have led to the achievement of the objective set in the project proposal - to improve technical capacity of the Research Institute Sigra.

3. Collaboration with other research institutions in European Research Area, having similar scientific interest in order to use research capacity more synergetic and efficiently is promoted:

a) Secondments, held during the project, have ensured development of collaboration with research institutions in Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden, and to plan joint research activities and projects with partner institutions;
b) Participation of research staff in international scientific events: congresses, conferences and exhibitions has promoted development of partnerships and to plan joint research activities and projects with research institutions from UK, Serbia, Portugal, Spain, Russia, and other countries;
c) Participation in EU Food Cluster initiative activities has promoted development of partnerships and to plan joint research activities and projects with other cluster members;
d) Organisation of conferences and workshops has promoted development of partnerships with research institutions from Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Ukraine, Belgium;
e) Elaboration of "Collaboration research program" has supported initiation and implementation of joint research activities.

Activities implemented have promoted and have led to the achievement of the objective set in the project proposal - to promote collaboration with other research institutions in European Research Area.

Achievements proving increase of capacity are:

1) Elaboration of three project proposals and getting funding from European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund for two specific research activities and for dissemination activities. Projects are already started and will last until 2013.
2) 4 patents are registered.
3) 43 scientific publications are published.
4) Initiating and establishment of national food cluster.

Increase of research and technical capacity, establishment and development of strategic partnerships are leading towards achievement of the long term objective of the project - to stimulate realisation of full research potential of the enlarged European Union by unlocking and developing existing research potential in one of the convergence regions - Baltic.

Potential Impact:

The project has contributed towards the expected impacts defined in the project proposal and stated in the Capacities Work Programme.

1. Capacity and the quality of research carried out by the Research Institute Sigra is upgraded:

a) Skills and knowledge of researchers are increased during secondments to the cooperation research entities. Number of research RI Sigra staff increased skills - 5 (planned initially - 4);
b) High quality researchers seconded from other research institutions brought new research skills to the Sigra research staff. Number staff with increased skills - 25 (planned initially - 22);
c) Participation in workshop provided researchers the opportunity to gain new knowledge in their field of research. Number of RI Sigra staff gained knowledge - 15, number of researchers from other convergence regions of the Baltic - 15 (planned initially: RI Sigra staff - 12, researchers from other convergence regions of the Baltic - 12).
d) Acquisition of high quality research equipment followed by training to use the equipment increased the quality of research carried out by RI Sigra. Number of RI Sigra staff trained - 35, number of new research devices acquired - 95 (planned initially: number of staff trained - 35, number of new research devices acquired - 90).

2. Through development of well-targeted partnership better integration of the research team of RI Sigra in the European Research Area (ERA) is achieved. Close cooperation is developed in the respected field with research teams from Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark. Networking with research teams from other EU countries: UK, Serbia, Albania, Portugal, Spain, and other countries is commenced.
3. The capacity of RI Sigra for participation in FP7 projects is improved. Established partnership and "Collaboration research program" developed within the project are forming the base for new FP7 projects - 4 new projects are planned and will be elaborated in the time period 2011 -2013. Increased RTD capacity of RI Sigra is facilitating new opportunities for high-level research. Both: basic research and applied research activities are ongoing. The project has promoted increase of number of applied research for industrial companies, also for those located in other EU countries (for example - United Kingdom).
4. The research capacity of Latvia and the Baltic region is increased in general, and it promotes planning and implementation of activities leading towards economic and social cohesion of the Baltic region. It is very significant in the time period, when countries are trying to recover from crisis. Food production and processing industries are very important business sectors in all Baltic countries, and high quality research for their benefit would promote technological development of these sectors significantly.

RI Sigra initiated and established national food cluster, involving currently 18 members: 6 research entities, 6 food processing companies, 5 associations of food production and processing companies, 1 regional authority and 1 financial entity. The cluster established is dealing with research and business development issues in the area of food production and processing. Establishment of the cluster has came out as a follow up activity of European Food cluster, and has potential for growth.

The main dissemination activities held during the project

1. 2 international conferences are organized, 223 participants from 10 countries participated.
2. 1 international workshop-seminar is organized, 30 participants from 3 countries participated.
3. 1 national workshop-seminar is organized, 41 participants participated.
4. 43 scientific publications are elaborated and published in scientific journals, proceedings of conferences and congresses, and scientific websites.
5. 23 times RI Sigra is represented with poster presentation in international scientific events: congresses, conferences, and exhibitions.
6. 31 publications about the project and RI Sigra are published in media: internet, newspapers, magazines.
7. TV clips are broadcasted 5 times.
8. Website www.sigra.lv is translated into English and upgraded regularly.
9. Brochure about RI Sigra and BALTFOODQUAL project is elaborated and disseminated.

Exploitation of results

Skills and knowledge of researchers are already in use for carrying high quality research in order to satisfy demands of industries for innovative, competitive technologies ensuring production of high quality food needed for and demanded by customers. High quality research equipment acquired is ensuring provision of high quality research, carried in order to satisfy demands of industries. Partnership developed with research teams from Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark, as well started collaboration with research teams from other EU countries: UK, Serbia, Albania, Portugal, Spain, and other countries are forming starting point for joint projects and research activities. Several of research activities are under planning and preparation. Increased capacity of RI Sigra to participate in FP7 projects is facilitating participation in other projects, 4 projects will be elaborated and submitted to FP7 program during time period 2011-2013.

List of Websites:

Title of the beneficiary: Research Institute of Biotechnology and Veterinary Medicine "Sigra" of Latvia University of Agriculture

Name, title and organisation of the scientific representative of the project coordinator:

Aleksandrs Jemeljanovs, Director of the Research Institute of Biotechnology and Veterinary Medicine "Sigra", Latvia University of Agriculture
Tel: +371 67976307
Fax: +371 67976655
E-mail: sigra@lis.lv
Website address:
www.sigra.lv