CASEE Conference 2018
Review: The 9th CASEE conference "Research based education at life science universities in the Danube region towards a sustainable future” was held at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) in Bucharest, Romania, 6th-9th June, 2018 and marked a new chapter for CASEE.
Find out what research based education is all about, why it's crucial for a sustainable future in the Danube region and what is the role of life science universities in this context.
Research based education for a sustainable future in the Danube Region was the main topic of the conference. This refers to the necessity to foster sustainable and ecological developments in the region, whilst improving livelihood in rural areas. Education and research are the basis for a sustainable future not only at a global level but also with and in the Danube Region. Life Science universities act as a role model, aiming for sustainable development of bio-economy in this region. CASEE member universities in particular have to assume high responsibility within their network to push forward and promote research-based education on this matter.
The opening of the 9th CASEE conference was organised together with the 7th edition of the international conference Agriculture for Life, Life for Agriculture and enabled further networking opportunities between students, scientists and researchers. The conference was opened by the Rector Prof. Dr. Sorin Mihai Cimpeanu from USAMV Bucharest, the Vice-Rector for Education and International Affairs of USAMV Bucharest, Prof. Dr. Florin Stanica, and the President of CASEE, Prof. DI Dr. Dr.h.c. mult. Martin H. Gerzabek. The CASEE President emphasised the importance of networks such as CASEE to promote research-based education in the Danube Region aiming for sustainable development. Due to the high bio-economy potential in in this region, improvements cannot be based on just intensification, but should also be guided by research-based concepts.
The CASEE President Martin H. Gerzabek, the Rector of USAMV Sorin Mihai Cimpeanu and the Vice-Rector of USAMV Florin Stanica warmly welcomed all participants and guests at the conference. They all expressed their gratitude for the mutual support within the network, the great work of the conference organisers and for the valuable support of the Scientific Committee members which made the conference a successful one.
Research-based education in the Danube Region for a sustainable future was also the main and guiding topic in the three keynote speeches. Prof. Mag. Dr. Barbara Hinterstoisser (BOKU, Austria) focused on the role of research and education as driving force for education. The high quality of teaching and learning is needed for educating students and graduates as future decision and policy makers. In this context sustainability, the role of Life Science universities and the need for cooperation and networks have to be critically reflected. Acad. Doru Pamfil from the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania, presented new biotech methods in plant breeding for climate change and proposed a new approach for regulating new biotech methods of gene-editing, in perspective of breeding plants for future climate changes. Vice-rector Prof. Dr. Gina Fintineru, USAMV Bucharest, and Gabriele Mack from Agroscope, Switzerland, presented project results of ENHANCE by showcasing the impact of the CAP payments on the vitality of rural areas in Romania and presenting used methods and measurements.
- Prof. Mag. Dr. Barbara Hinterstoisser (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, BOKU, Austria): “Research based education at Life Science Universities in the Danube Region for a sustainable future”
- Acad. Doru Pamfil (University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania): “New biotech methods in plant breeding for climate change”
- Prof. Dr. Gina Fintineru and Gabriele Mack (University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, USAMV Bucharest and Agroscope, Switzerland): “Did rural development payments improve quality of life in rural areas? Methods & Results”
The 110 participants then had the opportunity to participate in the following scientific sessions and workshops:
- Session I: “Modern agriculture and rural development (including landscape planning)”
- Session II: “Renewable resources – possibilities and constraints (including forests and biotechnology)”
- Session III: “Sustainable food systems and quality”
- Session IV: “Environmental safety and climate change”
- Session V: “Agricultural engineering” (in cooperation with ATAE)
- Session VI: "New challenges in animal sciences and veterinary medicine"
- Poster Session (poster download on the conference website)
- “Experimental Farm Network (EFNet) Workshop”
These sessions of the 9th CASEE Conference served for presenting the latest scientific results in order to promote research and educational activities, to further enhance networks and partnerships and to exchange ideas, as well as to promote scientific information interchange between academics, developers, engineers, practitioners, researchers and students working and/or studying in the Danube region or in certain cases other countries. The added value of CASEE conferences can also be seen in the numerous PhD participants who get the chance to gain insights from senior researchers, get in contact with more established colleagues for future collaborations and all sides can fuel their motivational spirit.
As well as these sessions, other successful meetings were also held:
- CASEE Danube AgriFood Master programme "Sustainability in Agriculture, Food Production and Food Technology in the Danube Region" meetings on 7th and 8th June
- CASEE Board meetings on 6th June (before the start of the conference) and on 8th June after the CASEE General Assembly
In addition to the scientific value of the conference, these meetings also provided an excellent platform to exchange ideas and other parts of the CASEE community, in which project proposals, networking and future plans can flourish.
At the CASEE General Assembly, held on the last day of the conference, the CASEE President reported on past activities, the CASEE involvement in the EU Strategy for the Danube region, on recent cooperation and CASEE memberships. In addition, several interesting educational and networking projects were presented, e.g. the interim project report “Determining the influence of cover crops on soybean production and environmental life cycle assessment” funded by the CASEE Fund for Incentives and planned projects such as the “EFnet staff training: Set up and management of field trials to determine ecosystem services”. Furthermore, Prof. Zlatan Saric and Prof. Milenko Blesic from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced the venue for the 10th CASEE conference 2019 and the main topic of the next conference: “The role of Life Science Universities in redirecting land use from threat to guardian ecosystems”. In 2020 the 11th CASEE conference will take place at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.
The beginning of a new era for CASEE...
At the General Assembly 2018 in Bucharest the presidency of Prof. DI Dr. Dr.h.c. mult. Martin H. Gerzabek came to an end, after eight prosperous years. President Gerzabek highlighted the successful work and achievement of the CASEE network and expressed his gratitude to all board members, university members, colleagues, partners and the whole CASEE family for their support, enthusiasm and the excellent spirit of the network. The new elected president Prof. PhDr. Michal Lostak, Vice-Rector for International Relations at CULS, Czech Republic, emphasised the important and significant achievements under the presidency of Martin Gerzabek and thanked him for his personal commitment, ambitious goals and professionalism in furthering the development of the CASEE network over the last eight years.
As well as the newly elected CASEE president Prof. PhDr. Michal Lostak, the General Assembly elected Prof. DI Dr. Hubert Hasenauer, Rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria, as the new vice-president of CASEE. Due to some small changes in the CASEE Statutes both elections were finally and officially approved during a second General Assembly on 9th July, 2018.
The whole CASEE network has not only warmly welcomed the new CASEE Presidency but also a new 17th CASEE member: the Agricultural State University of Moldova (SAUM). The CASEE family is looking forward to a fruitful and successful collaboration in the following years.
The scientific programme of the 9th CASEE conference was enriched with so-called post-conference tours to the Bran, Predeal and Peles Castles and to a Viticulture and Oenology Research and Development Station in the Sub-Carpathians Region.
The EFNet group was invited to visit several Experimental Stations near the USAMV Campus and in the surroundings of Bucharest.
The CASEE Secretariat, on behalf of the whole CASEE “family”, wants to hereby express its gratitude to the hosts for organising this year’s CASEE conference and looks forward to the next conference in 2019 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina!
See further information on the conference website.