Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AGRICYGEN (Establishment of an Agricultural Genomics Centre in Cyprus)
Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31
a) Creation, engagement, communication and contribution of the extensive consortium members, including the advanced partners, for the purpose of drafting the proposed Centre’s Strategies on Research, Education, and Industry Cooperation, and all items relevant to developing the Centre Business Plan. This included 2 consortium meetings, 4 study visits to advanced partners, a launch event, organisation of an AGRICYGEN Seminar in Edinburgh, UK, a pre-conference workshop on AGRICYGEN in Cyprus, along with other events to increase the visibility of the AGRICYGEN efforts.
b) Development of a non-degree and degree Education strategy to be implemented fully as part with a joint effort with partner UEDIN, during phase 2.
c) Contact with local, regional and international stakeholders, and engagement in AGRICYGEN phase 1 events, in order to register and instigate their interest in the Centre activities and enable future collaboration.
d) Close communication was established with leading companies in genomic technologies, which have vested interest to expand their involvement in the region, through the AGRICYGEN Centre service provision.
e) Achievement of national and private engagement to fund Centre activities during phase 2 and decisively contribute to the Centre long-term sustainability.
Overview of results, which will serve as guidance for phase 2 proposal preparation: The following deliverables were produced during the 12 months of the CSA Action:
D2.1 Report on direction of partner cooperation for the Centre Research, Education and Industrial activities
D2.2 Operational Plan for Data Handling and Management
D2.3 Report on Knowledge Management
D2.4 Stakeholder map, relevance to Centre activities and forms of collaboration
D3.1 Strategic plan for research and innovation activities
D3.2 Strategic plan for industrial cooperation
D3.3 Strategic plan on education, academic knowledge transfer and training
D3.4 Guideline document on the Centre’s legal and institutional framework
D3.5 Centre Operational Plan
D4.1: Business Plan for the AGRICYGEN Centre of Excellence: The Business Plan included input from all WPs and Tasks and comprehensively presents the future business prospects of the AGRICYGEN Centre
D5.2 Project website
D5.3 Report on all dissemination activities performed
Within D5.3 a report is provided on how all publishable information from this effort has been extensively communicated and exploited to achieve public engagement and involvement of relevant stakeholders and approval and support from the wider society.
Impact related to the one-year activity (relevant for the CSA):
The implementation of Phase I of the project concentrated on developing the strategy for setting up the Centre. This strategy did not only deal with the Strategic Research Agenda but also a Communication Strategy that also engaged farmers, the dairy industry, policy makers (Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services and others) and other stakeholders. In particular to the dairy industry, at present there is a heated debate in Cyprus about the future of Halloumi Cheese, pending the PDO approval. The Communications activities during the 12 months, promoted the development of an Agricultural Genomics Centre and brought all stakeholders around the table to discuss a strategy that tackles the Halloumi cheese issue at its roots. Communication events were also beneficial for the industry and society, by promoting collective actions and collaboration along agricultural product value chains. Additionally, the one-year activities generated a much needed basis for widening the scientific scope of the country in the area of agriculture, through the involvement of the three founding Institutes of the Centre. This contact also provided a paradigm for expanding their collaboration in additional research areas. During the one- year activity, increased communication with advanced partners, sharing of know-how and increased visibility of research activities and directions/priorities in Cyprus also had a positive research impact. Comprehensive mapping of stakeholder needs in terms of services, training and research efforts at the Centre, were also possible by establishing contact with related structures/stakeholders abroad and with regional stakeholders, and through dissemination events and consultations planned.