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ENHANCE project assessed as successful by EU

02 July 2019 - Under the aegis of the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest (USAMV), Romania, from 2016 to 2018 IAMO joined with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria, and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland, to implement the twinning project “Building an Excellency Network for Heightening Agricultural Economic Research and Education in Romania” (ENHANCE), sponsored by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

As the EU now emphasises, ENHANCE succeeded in decisively strengthening the position of USAMV as a teaching and research establishment for the agricultural sector. Against the background of the extremely significant position of the agricultural and food sector in the Romanian economy, (future) agronomists require a profound understanding of modern micro and macro-economic methods and techniques.

These techniques and methods were communicated by the international partners in the forms of workshops and summer schools. The workshops were aimed specifically at master’s students, doctoral students and USAMV staff. The summer schools were orientated towards a broad, international target group and addressed PhD students at the USAMV as well as other universities in Romania and other transitional countries. In total, the summer school participants came from 15 different countries. In addition to the lectures, the months of mutual interaction between the researchers was a further key component. In the course of the project 4 USAMV staff were seconded to IAMO for 10 person months and 7 IAMO employees to the USAMV for 7 person months.

Although the three-year project duration should be regarded as relatively short for the identification of medium to long-term successes, the ENHANCE project is nonetheless assessed by the EU as highly successful. USAMV benefited from the imparting of knowledge, the exchange of personnel and the training courses, which enabled access to the latest agronomic methods. The position of the USAMV as an internationally-oriented training establishment was significantly reinforced with ENHANCE. The summer school is also set to continue after the ending of the project in 2019. Similarly, the number of publications and appearances at international conferences by USAMV staff is also on the increase. In addition, USAMV now participates in international calls for research projects far more often and is an attractive partner for international consortia.