Objectives

+ Objective 1: Promote excellence in science

The issue

Achieving and maintaining the scientific research excellence is the only way to establish the Chair in the ERA, turn it into a sustainable research centre and assure its position as a leading research, consulting and educational institution in Slovenia and worldwide in the area of food research.

Actions

  • WP1: 
    Task 1.3
    Scientific coordination will assure, that the capacities and instrumentation of all participating departments will be available and exploited in a sustainable and most beneficial way for the ISO-FOOD.
  • WP3: 
    Tasks 3.1
    Research through doctoral training & 3.2 Postdoctoral research - newly employed early stage researches. PhD students will be trained and early stage researchers will be employed for 2 years in ERA Chair’s research projects under supervision of the ERA Chair holder and/or senior researchers from the participating Departments and Centres of Excellence; the generated knowledge and expertise will be spilled over into other ERA Chair activities, such as education (Task 3.3), where the best young researchers will be employed at the ERA Chair to participate in activities in WPs 4 – 6).
  • WP4: 
    Task 4.1 Exploratory workshops - topics at the cutting edge of today’s research in respective fields will be discussed and common solutions for identified problems will be proposed in collaboration with world’s leading experts who will participate at workshops. This will give further opportunity for development of future collaborations and exchange of knowledge.
    Task 4.2 Interlaboratory comparison exercises - will promote the technical skills of the staff and assure comparability of the performance of participating laboratories in each thematic ring test.
  • WP5: 
    Task 5.2
    Scientific outreach - participation at scientific conferences will give opportunity to the scientists to present their research at the best international scientific meetings and make new contacts with the leading institutions in respective fields of research.

+ Objectives 2 and 3: Strengthening position in the ERA - Increase the critical mass of excellent researchers and Creation of ERA culture

The issue

The impact of scientific research can only be assured with inter-institutional and international collaboration. Slovenia is a young country that has only recently started collecting food and feed composition data and knowledge in a scientific way. JSI has cooperated with other ERA members within UNU/SCN NCDN CEE that has developed capacity in the field. However, UNU/SCN NCDN CEE still lacks of data gained by isotope and combined nuclear techniques. To be able to advance the scientific research and produce deliverables, which can directly be implemented for the development of economy and society, conditions need to be achieved, which maximise the possibilities for flow and exchange of knowledge and experience. The Chair therefore must take the advantage of the ERA framework, by becoming fully integrated into the European scientific community.

Actions

  • WP2:
    Task 2.4 Employment of early stage researchers will strengthen the position and the competitiveness of the ERA Chair in the international scientific space; the most successful trainees will be offered research positions in the ERA Chair, if the funds will be available (new projects and contracts).
  • WP3:
    Task 3.3 Curriculum for the doctoral study programme on food quality, safety, security and availability – will connect the ERA Chair with leading Universities and Postgraduate schools, which will collaborate with JSI and JSIPS in performance of the doctoral study with participation of international experts and teachers.
  • WP4:
    Entire WP4 is aimed to strengthen the position of ERA Chair in the ERA: Exploratory workshops (Task 4.1), interlaboratory comparison exercises (Task 4.2), summer schools (Task 4.3), training web site and e-learning materials (Task 4.4) and Task 4.5 development of the ISO-FOOD repository of data and knowledge.
  • WP6:
    Task 6.2 Collaboration with stakeholders is dedicated to building partnerships with distinguished international partners and industry through membership in European technology platforms, expert associations and international associations and organizations and their projects Task 6.4 Accreditation of laboratories and methods will improve the QAQC and overall performance of ERA Chair laboratories and intensify collaboration with national and international metrological institutes, and enable the ERA Chair to compete for EMRP project funding.

+ Objective 4: Widening participation - Improving competitiveness

The issue

The vision of the Chair is to actively participate in development of a knowledge-based society – but not be limited to the national level; the Chair needs to pull together and expand the expertise of participating Departments and Centers and its own staff; to do this, involvement into common international research projects and employment of researchers with required complementary expertise in areas not covered by current staff is needed.

Actions

  • WP3: 
    Tasks 3.1 and 3.2
    will enable young researchers to be trained and to further pursue curiosity-driven strategically relevant research by opening new research questions within newly acquired projects of the ERA Chair; they will be open up for new ideas and new researchers by creating attractive opportunities for research careers through connection of Centers of Excellence with the capacities available at departments currently not involved in common projects.
  • WP4:
    The WP is entirely devoted to the networking and exchange with leading European researchers and institutions (Tasks 4.1 – 4.3).
    Task 4.5The development of the ISO-FOOD repository of data and knowledge will fill the gap caused by general lack of datasets of food and feed composition data gained by isotope techniques; the database will place the ERA Chair in the among the established ERA institutions active in food research, also through information exchange with other information platforms.
  • WP4: 
    Task 4.1 Exploratory workshops - topics at the cutting edge of today’s research in respective fields will be discussed and common solutions for identified problems will be proposed in collaboration with world’s leading experts who will participate at workshops. This will give further opportunity for development of future collaborations and exchange of knowledge.
    Task 4.2 Interlaboratory comparison exercises - will promote the technical skills of the staff and assure comparability of the performance of participating laboratories in each thematic ring test.
  • WP5: 
    Entire WP is devoted to the dissemination of outcomes and new knowledge gained during ISO-FOOD project and communication with national and international scientific community, academia, industry, policy makers and decision makers, as well as general public. The aim is to increase the visibility and recognition of the ERA Chair.
  • WP6:
    Task 6.2 Collaboration with stakeholders, clustering and twinning will enable the ERA Chair to foster transnational funding and collaboration by building partnerships through preparation of new project proposals with international partners, membership in international associations and technology platforms and their projects.
    Task 6.4 Accreditation of laboratories and methods will increase the competitiveness of the ERA Chair laboratories in the framework of European metrology system, and to obtain a status of designated national laboratory for food research and open access to funding opportunities through EURAMET programmes and projects (EMRP). 

+ Objectives 5 and 6: Develop synergies between cohesion and research funding – Contribution to growth and jobs

The issue

To translate “smart specialization” into context of the goals of the national Smart Specialization Strategy, the ERA Chair shall play its role as a centre of knowledge and innovation in collaboration with stakeholders in the field of agriculture, health, environment and economic development, as well as science and education, but at the same time be connected with ERA as a centre of scientific excellence. Generally, a platform for dialogue of science with national ministries for scientific research, economic and infrastructure development, food and agriculture, and health is missing. Dependence of research institutions from public funding is an impediment for their development and sustainability, in particular in light of current economic crisis, which will most probably not be overcome within next few years. Autonomous and independent funding of the ERA Chair is thus its only option for sustainable development in the future.

Actions

communication, coordination and cooperation between stakeholders at all levels, where the Chair will act as a bridging link between them, will be the cohesive thread of all ISO-FOOD activities. In support to the goals of national Smart Specialization Strategy, the ERA Chair will (1) aim acquiring funding for extension of ISO-FOOD programme through common projects with other national and international institutions and industry, in particular high-tech SMEs, applying for projects at national calls for R&D projects, calls within Horizon 2020, regional development funds (Structural Funds, Cohesion Funds, transnational cooperation projects, calls for proposals for instruments for implementation of national Smart Specialization Strategy), ; (2) enhance the flow of graduated researchers into economic sector (industry, private enterprises) through common projects with partners from industry, where also instruments from Social Funds for employment of young experts will be exploited (3) act as a centre of knowledge and education centre, through providing possibilities for training and education at graduate level in existing programmes, and in Food Science doctoral programme, which will be developed by the ERA Char holder and his team; (4) establish its position as research institution with accredited analytical methods for food analysis, which will enable it to become as a national etalon holder for the “amount of substance” analysis of certain elements and compounds and national reference laboratory for accredited methods. This will open the possibilities to participate in European Metrology Research Programme projects and be the coordinator of national and international projects in the field of metrology. The ERA Chair will actively take part in this process by offering career opportunities to the researchers from the industry through participation in common projects and through the existing and new education programmes offered by the JSPIS. Participation in international projects and affirmation as a national expert body in collaboration with Universities will enable the centre to create its own sustainable development programmes and strategies. All support activities of the ISO-FOOD are dedicated to achieving these objectives.