National workshop - FoodHub Center of Excellence
On Friday October 9th 2020, starting at 9am at the University of Donja Gorica, as part of the FoodHub Center of Excellence project, a National workshop on the topic of obstacles and opportunities for successful application of modern tools for digitization and laboratory testing in the food production chain was held. The workshop is one in a series of planned activities aimed at connecting agricultural and food producers with the science sector and the Center of Excellence. In addition to the participants, the workshop was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Science, the Chamber of Commerce, Individual Food Producers, representatives of the Association of Producers, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of the Food Safety Administration. Other project partners include: the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the University of Novi Sad Research and Development Institute for Biosystem Information Technology-Biosense, the University of Padua and the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro.
On the behalf of the Ministry of Science, The Director General of the Directorate for Innovation and Technological Development, Branka Zizic, MA, pointed out in her introductory speech, that University of Donja Gorica is currently the number one organization in Montenegro in terms of the number of projects they managed to withdraw from the European H2020 program. This is the best indicator of UDG’s orientation towards internationalization as well as the great achievement of its research teams which show their orientation towards Europe and the world. Zizic also emphasized that she believes that this workshop will improve communication between science and agriculture as an area that needs to be developed and improved more in Monenegro.
Prof. dr Aleksandra Martinovic, director of the Center, also greeted all of the guests. She focused on the establishment of the Center whose main mission is to create innovations in the food sector through research, knowledge transfer, development and improvement of indigenous and traditional food and agricultural products and resources, as well as goals to be realized in the future. This will be achieved by applying modern technologies to adapt traditional food production processes to new trends, maintaining the authenticity of products and traditional features, but also by involving and connecting a wide front of different participants, including farmers, food companies, research institutions, consumers and others.
Participants of the workshop had the opportunity to hear about obstacles and existing solutions with emphasis on areas to be worked on in terms of implementing innovative solutions in the field of digitization and laboratory testing, as well as identifying activities to be implemented within the CoE to successfully connect agriculture and industry with science and innovation and a way to promote good ideas. On this occasion, participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the application of positive experiences from the country and the EU with a similar context, where the SmartMilk project was presented, but also cooperation with companies with which UDG FoodHub cooperates in the development of food monitoring systems. Lecturers at the workshop were key researchers and experts in the field of food production, proving the authenticity of food products, as well as digital identity and the application of blockchain technology: Doc. dr Marko Simeunović, Doc. dr Dijana Đurović, Prof. dr Vladimir Tomović, Giuseppe Paderni, Doc. dr Tomo Popović, Prof. dr Zlatan Saric. Young researchers that are engaged in the Center also worked with the participants.
At the very end, participants, lecturers and students of the Faculty of Food Technology, Food Safety and Ecology, discussed the achieved as well as future goals on which those engaged in the Center will continue to work on.