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Final Report Summary - SWOT-CHEMISTRY-FOOD (Evaluation of the Research Capacity and Development of a Strategy for Further Growth in Chemistry in General and in Food Science in Particular)

The Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics (IC-UKIM-FSM), University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia has gained international recognition and visibility by publishing the results of research in distinguished scientific journals as well as by collaboration with eminent research groups from European universities and research centers. It has already been nominated as a potential center of excellence by the Ministry of Education and Science of R. Macedonia in the answers to the Questionnaire of the European Commission.
In order to make strategies for further development of the research activities, within the SWOT-CHEMISTRY-FOOD project, a thorough analysis of the level of the overall research quality and capability of this research entity was performed using the SWOT methodology by assistance of independent foreign experts. The performed international independent expert evaluation of the level of the overall research quality and capability of the Institute of Chemistry is very important with regards to its positioning in the country and wider as an established research entity and a Center of excellence (foreseen in the new Law on Scientific Research). This assessment has been further used as a basis for defining an Action plan for future development of the research groups at the Institute aimed at keeping the existing groups competent and competitive in the European research area and strengthening and encouraging the others.
Furthermore, the Institute of Chemistry as a coordinator of a FP7-REGPOT-2007-3 Capacity project CHROMLAB-ANTIOXIDANT (204756) and also with this evaluation project participates in the FOOD-Cluster initiative of the European Commission aimed at bringing together European regions with ambition in food research and development. So, within the SWOT-CHEMISTRY-FOOD project, an evaluation of the status of research in the food thematic area on national level has been done using the SWOT methodology and by assistance of international experts and participation of national experts - representatives from all research and higher education institutions involved in research in the food area. The SWOT analysis has been followed by an Action plan aimed at developing a research agenda to ensure a systematic and focused research in the food thematic area for national development. It is going to be a substantial contribution for this country to its strategy orientation in food research as well as for its visibility in the region and in Europe.
Overall, these activities will bring about the realization of the defined and wanted objectives of the RESEARCH POTENTIAL programme such as: stimulating the realization of the full research potential of the enlarged Union by unlocking and developing existing or emerging research potential in the European Union's convergence regions, and helping to strengthen the capacities of their researchers to successfully participate in research activities at EU level