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A Balkan research centre gets a face-lift

Environmental and consumer protection are among the priorities of most countries for long-term sustainable development. As such, the Laboratory for Environmental Protection operating at the University of Novi Sad (UNS) conducts research related to drinking water and wastewater treatment, water and sediment monitoring, soil remediation and risk assessment.
A Balkan research centre gets a face-lift
However, given the past isolation of Serbia from the international research community combined with its difficult economic situation, the laboratory was in much need of renewal both in terms of material and human resources as well regarding knowledge via collaboration with EU institutions. To improve on the situation, investigators secured EU-funding for the project ‘Reinforcement of the laboratory for environmental protection at the faculty of science of the University of Novi Sad as a centre of excellence for environmental chemistry and risk assessment’ (CECRA).

The researchers established the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Chemistry and Risk Assessment, upgrading the equipment for environmental sample analysis. They enhanced training activities and increased the competencies of CECRA researchers via increased participation in European research and technology development (RTD) endeavours. Project objectives included the creation of an environmental pollution database, enhancing the understanding of pollutants and their effects on water resources, and characterisation of contaminated aqueous areas in Western Balkan countries.

The EU-funded project enabled significant technological and manpower improvements to the Laboratory for Environmental Protection at UNS and succeeded in stepping up collaboration with European partners. In addition, the project resulted in greater public awareness of environmental issues as fostered by various dissemination activities, including a web portal for researchers, students, policymakers and the general public.

Thus, the lab is now well positioned for future exploitation of research related to sustainable development concerning aquatic and other resources. Empowering nations to strive for sustainable development will most certainly have positive impact on individual citizens, neighbouring countries and the global economy.

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