The REFRESH Project is first from the Warmia and Mazury Province and, simultaneously, the largest in Poland Project financed in the area of “Research Potential” of the 7th Framework Programme. Its key objective is to reinforce the research potential of the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn.
Project REFRESH - Unlocking the potential of the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research for strengthening integration with the European Research Area and regional development
Although only 22 years of history, with enormous determination and work engaged in the development of the Institute by its young, enthusiastic and dedicated staff, we have achieved a leading position among Polish research centers in the field of agricultural sciences. As soon as 10 years since establishing, we have achieved the status of “Centre of Excellence in Knowledge Transfer, Research and Training in the Area of Food and Health for Central and Eastern Europe – CENEXFOOD”, and 4 years later the status of National Centre of Excellence “Bioengineering and Biotechnology in Designing New Strategies for Reproduction Control and Protection of Human and Animal Health”. Both of these distinctions received in recognition of research excellence, facilitate the entry of our Institute into the ERA and have led to a great interest in the proposals supported within international research collaboration.
The REFRESH project, scored 14.5 points (out of 15) by the EU experts has been classified for funding as one of the two Polish proposals submitted in this call – which as one of the 14 winning projects out of the 252 submitted proposals.
Strategic partnership of the Institute and the most recognised European research centres will afford the possibility for running joint interdisciplinary projects in the following areas: Food - Biodiversity – Health, thus contributing to knowledge - based social and economic development in the Warmia and Mazury Province as well as in the Eastern Poland. The Project is coordinated by Prof. Mariusz K. Piskuła.
In the years 2002-2006, 1878 Polish research groups have participated in scientific projects financed by the European Union and the total subsidies allocated to this end have accounted for 216.5 million EUR. Over that period, the Warmia and Mazury Province was represented by as little as 14 research groups, with the total granted subsidies of only 1.18 million EUR, including over 0.5 million EUR granted to our Institute. After 2007, the support granted under the 7th Framework Programme for all units from the Warmia and Mazury Province has accounted for merely 0.5 million EUR.
The funds allocated by the European Commission on the REFRESH Project in the years 2010 - 2014 account for 3.15 million EUR and are the largest ever financial support granted to a Polish institution in the "Research Potential" area of the 7th Framework Programme.
A key element of this project will be the establishment of Technology Platform, which will be used to provide training and coordination of cooperation with industry. A package of seminars and workshops developed for different audiences (government officials and local government, business, general public) will focus on the practical use of acquired knowledge.
In the Project special emphasis is put on the training and development of the staff through bilateral Exchange with 14 leading European research centres and through specialized trainings. The funds allocated to this Project will additionally enable the purchase of unique research equipment and employment of top-class experts with qualifications indispensable for the implementation of long-term Institute’s Development Strategy. With the Project accomplished, the Institute is expected to gain a competitive – on the European scale – research potential to conduct interdisciplinary studies addressing: food, biodiversity and health.
The Project will be conducted for 42 months and will be finalized with a 6-month evaluation of the quality of ongoing research and the level of research infrastructure by independent experts nominated by the European Union. Results of this evaluation will then be discussed with central authorities (Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Polish Academy of Sciences) as well as with local authorities (The Marshall’s Office, the Municipal Office).