Management School Hosts Successful Online International RUC-APS Workshop
Posted on: 1 July 2020 by Nick Jones in 2018 Posts
The International RUC-APS Workshop, “Enhancing and Implementing Knowledge Based ICT Solutions within High Risk and Uncertain Conditions for Agriculture Production Systems”, was held online from 12th -29th May 2020, coordinated by Dr Jorge Hernández as part of the RUC-APS Project.
This virtual event brought together over 300 EU and international representatives from industry, civil society, public authorities and research, in addition to agri-food agencies and international leading experts. Discussions focussed on issues relating to identifying, mapping, modelling, simulating and proposing novel methodologies and functional technology platforms for the agri-food sector in Europe and South America and allowed participants to explore and debate opportunities and strengths relating to the current state and future of the international agri-food sector.
Keywords were collected from participants regarding agri-food value chain challenges:
The workshop received great feedback from participants, here a few selected comments from some of the key institution representatives involved in the workshop:
Dr. Emilio Ruz, Director INIA La Platina, Ministry of Agriculture, Chile says: “Chile has great potential for the production of quality vegetables. But we have limited technological capacity to achieve that potential. In this context, RUC-APS is the best cooperation network that we have at the moment to support our technological development in horticulture. The wide range of specialists that make up the RUC-APS consortium and their willingness for scientific cooperation is the attribute of greatest value for INIA. The workshop in online mode was an extraordinary experience. It forced us to train ourselves in ways to communicate in the midst of the health crisis. At the same time, it was evident that the on-line modality allowed us to amplify the audience several times, compared to a face-to-face workshop, at least for Chile which is very far from Europe. At the same time, this online work greatly facilitates remote scientific and technological collaboration, transforming it into a low-cost and fast-performing mechanism”.
Prof. Maria del Mar Eva Alemany, Professor in Operational research at Polytenic University of Valencia, Spain, says: “The RUC-APS project has been very satisfactory in terms of networking, research collaboration, training contracts, knowledge exchange and innovation for the UPV team. With a deeper knowledge of the sector and its problems, during this last year we plan to validate the most recent innovations developed in a very multidisciplinary framework. The on-line workshop has been a successful experience that has allowed us to disseminate the developments and innovations of the different partners to external audiences. Participants of different countries have attended this virtual workshop and it allowed them to have a global picture of the project. As a result, several contacts have been made for future collaborations”.
Prof. Pascale Zarate. Professor at University of Toulouse 1 Capitole, says “University Toulouse 1 Capitole benefits from this project for its network. We have very good academic partners with whom we aim to create partnerships from both a research and an educational point of view. The RUC-APS executive board decided to organize the year 4 meeting as an on-line workshop in May 2020. This workshop gave the possibility to all partners to keep in touch and to have a huge vision of the work done within the project. We had a lot of presentations from different sides: Academia, non-Academia but also Agriculture area and Information Technology area”.
Dr. Rina Iannacone, Researcher at Alsia Basilicata, Italy, says: “The RUC-APS project is having a good impact on ALSIA. First of all, it is giving the chance to secondees to work with partner researchers on the improvement of critical services to farmers and to improve English language skills. Secondly, the project is giving an invaluable chance to exchange experience and knowledge with scientists working in different research fields. Our recent online workshop was very useful to get in touch with several researchers. The online meeting allowed the fruition of the events to be shared to a wide audience and to have a strong impact of RUC-APS activities. However, the informal activities that usually are part of a project meeting were missed. Nevertheless, the very good relationships among partners built in the previous years of the project contributed to the workshop success. Periodic online meetings with specific agenda and the identification of topics for a new proposal might help future collaborations”.
Dr. Alejandro Fernández, Director of the Laboratory of Research and Training in Advanced Computing, University of La Plata, Argentina, says: “Being part of the RUC-APS project expanded our understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the introduction of user-focused, ICT solutions for decision making in the agri-food sector. I am certain that the fruitful collaboration links we have developed will stay strong after the project ends. I believe the on-line workshop helped us draw a comprehensive picture of what we have accomplished so far, and where we plan to go. The workshop showed a growing interest from a multitude of stakeholders in the topics of RUC-APS; we should see this is an opportunity and a need for the creation of an agile and broader network for research, innovation, and development aligned with the project”.
Dr. Jorge Hernández, Senior Lecturer at University of Liverpool, UK and RUC-APS project leader says: “The international H2020 RUC-APS workshop was a great experience, especially due to the great support and collaborations from international partners located in three continents (Europe, Asia, and South America). We had in total 38 sessions with more than 60 experts from industry and academia presenting their topics. These topics covered up-to-date challenges in the agri-food world; agriculture, biodiversity, production systems, food systems and food safety, crop breeding, technologies and smart devices, online solutions, operations and supply chains management, operational research, regulations and government challenges in terms of regulations. The event attracted over 300 participants and helped us to see how robust and resilient the international RUC-APS network currently is, leading to our IMPACT work aligned with the research outcomes of this project, which is currently under implementation in several industries and government institutions. We are all proud of this project and how is currently setting up the boundaries for applied multidisciplinary research”.