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AGROALNEXT 2024, Research and Innovation in the Food and Agriculture Sector

“Innovation and Transfer in the Spanish Food and Agriculture Sector” was the title of the AGROALNEXT 2024 conference. This conference, hosted by Campus Gandia of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), was the meeting place for the vanguard of research and innovation in the agri-food sector.

The event was inaugurated by the General Director of Science and Research of the Department of Education, Universities and Employment, Rafael Sebastián; the Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH), Ángel Carbonell; the Scientific Coordinator of Agroalnext GVA; Raúl Moral and the Vice-Rector of Research at the UPV, Belén Picó.

The AGROALNEXT 2024 conference, co-organized by the UMH (through CIAGRO, Agri-Food and Agro-Environmental Research and Innovation Institute) and the UPV, convened more than 180 scientists, innovation actors from universities and research centers, as well as entities from the agri-food sector. The success of the conference program was evident both in the number of participating researchers and the actors from the food and agriculture sector and in the quantity and quality of the presentations and round tables that were held in the course of the event.

Transformation of the Food and Agriculture Sector

AGROALNEXT 2024 is one the products of the partnership betwenn seven autonomous communities (Aragón, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Comunitat Valenciana, Extremadura, La Rioja, Principality of Asturias and Region of Murcia), coordinated through the Complementary Agri-Food Plan funded by the Next Generation program of the European Union, uttered forth through the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and contributions from the Generalitat Valenciana. For the Vice-Rector for Research at the UPV, “the AGROALNEXT Complementary Agri-Food Plan has been a boost to interdisciplinary collaboration, both between universities and public research centers, pooling capacities and optimizing resources at the regional and state levels.” For his part, Rafael Sebastián pointed out that “the most important thing about this project is the ability to transfer everything being done at the scientific level to the productive sector.”

The program is structured in four main areas: Sustainable Primary Production and Ecological Transition; Guarantee of Healthy, Safe, Sustainable and Accessible Food Supply; Digital Transition of the Agri-Food Sector and Circular Economy. The UPV research groups taking part in the projects that have received funding are internationally recognized agri-food institutes, centers and departments from the three campuses, Alcoy, Gandia and Vera. These include the Research Institute for the Integrated Management of Coastal Areas (IGIC), the University Institute of Food Engineering (FoodUPV), the University Institute for Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrodiversity (COMAV), the University Research Institute of Animal Science and Technology or the Advanced Center for Applied Microbiology. Also participating is the Interuniversity Institute of Molecular Recognition and Technological Development and the Joint CSIC-UPV Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, among others.

The conference organizers have also pointed out that the projects must develop science for the agri-food sector, but above all transfer their results in the form of innovation.“Agroalnext means joint working between 322 researchers and 22 companies in the food and agriculture sector. Furthermore, under this program, to date there have been more than 64 publications in science journals and conferences, 25 initial transfer activities, including patents and transfer contracts to companies, as well as the presentation of 43 PhD dissertations and Masters theses.

As the Vice-Rector for Research at the UPV, Belén Picó, highlighted, “the development of the Agroalnext Complementary Plan places the Valencian Community in a leading position in the development of research, innovation and transfer in the food and agriculture sector.”

Source: Laida Frasquet, Journalist for the Office of Communications at Campus Gandia. of the Universitat Politècnica de València

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