Increasing support for university scientific research opens up more opportunities for higher education institutions to mobilize international teams of leading scientists to conduct modern research and present its results at the international level. One example is the project initiated by the Academy of Vytautas the Great University (VDU A).
Development of Center of Excellence for Bioeconomy Research (BioTEC). According to the scientific manager of the project, prof. Dr. Zitos Kriauiniens, the project is aimed at the creation of a unique center of excellence in Lithuania, the only one related to the ems, focused on the two directions of Agronomy and Environmental Engineering, and conducting scientific research at the highest level. According to the director of the VDU A Bioeconomics Research Institute, Assoc. Dr. Ryios Skominos, it is expected that the project will open up even more opportunities for international cooperation and further strengthen ties with business representatives who need innovative solutions.
Growing funding makes the University of Lithuania competitive internationally
The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports announced that the state plans to allocate more than 13 million euros to university research this year. eur support, a total of 57.5 million will be allocated for this until 2027. euro Assoc. Dr. Rytis Skominas is proud of the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, as the increasing funding of the University of Lithuania increases its competitiveness on an international scale. This is important, first of all, for science, where increasing funding will provide an opportunity to more successfully connect international programs, such as the European horizon, Life, projects, and will allow the publication of research results in prestigious scientific journals, doc. Dr. R. Skominas also draws attention to the fact that Lithuanian science will become significantly more visible in the international space thanks to greater funding.
According to the scientist, another important aspect is studies. The studies conducted in Lithuanian universities are based on science, therefore increasing funding for science will also improve the quality of studies. It is important that the quality of studies is linked to the qualification of a specialist ready for the labor market. The growing state’s attention to university scientific research will benefit not only the universities themselves, but also Lithuania as a whole, increasing its competitiveness, the speed of innovation implementation, technological progress, the director of the Bioeconomy Research Institute shares.
The simple proofer of Lithuanian science is fixed
The scientist notices that increased funding can also be seen as the growing confidence in the professionalism of researchers at the University of Lithuania. I think that confidence in Lithuanian science is growing, because the results in this field are improving every year. T is confirmed by the recent international comparative expert assessment of scientific activity. If we look at 2018 and 2023 let’s evaluate the results, we will see the English prover in all fields of science, says doc. Dr. R. Skominas also notices that the increased funding for science also shows the understanding that in the future these expenses will pay off with a lot. Achievements in science are also connected with the increase in GDP, because innovations, technologies and new products based on scientific research are being implemented in various areas.
Scientific research is expected to attract talented young people
Assoc. Dr. R. Skominas points out that growing funding will help attract more talented young people. It was not attractive for young people to associate their careers with the profession of a scientist and earn less than the average wage in Lithuania. Therefore, we are very happy that we are going in the right direction in increasing funding for this very important area. Increasing salaries in the sector will allow to attract the most talented students for doctoral studies and to develop scientific research solving global and oil problems, says Assoc. Dr. R. Skomin.
According to the director of the Bioeconomics Research Institute, the ability to work in modern laboratories is no less important in attracting and retaining talented scientists. With increased funding, new laboratory or software equipment can be purchased, which will provide more opportunities for conducting scientific research. Also, scientists will be able to use open access prestigious scientific journals for unifying the results, thus increasing their knowledge. I asked a scientist known in the international scientific community to recommend consortia participating in international scientific program projects. In this way, not only state, but also external funding is received, the prestige of the scientific profession also grows and more talented young people are attracted, the scientist notes.
VMU A aims to further develop the potential of science in the bioeconomy sector
One of the successful examples is the Development of the Center of Excellence for Bioeconomy Research (BioTEC) project initiated by VMU A. The VDU A project was not initiated by chance. Bioeconomy is very important for Lithuania, as it includes areas such as agriculture, mining, fishing, food industry, and is also associated with biotechnology, energy and construction industries. Therefore, it is important to continue to increase the potential of science, which will allow the implementation of innovative solutions in the sector, thus increasing Lithuania’s competitiveness in the EU and beyond, the researcher says.
Assoc. Dr. R. Skominas notes that the project pays special attention to scientists, improving their competence, increasing international awareness through the implementation of R&D activities and the dissemination of results. Also, in this project, a lot of attention is paid to the preparation of the shift of scientists. The aim will be to increase the number of doctoral and postdoctoral students and to facilitate the integration of young researchers (who have just received their doctorate) into academic activities. Teams of leaders and young scientists will be assembled so that the latter can gain experience in the areas of generating ideas, preparing applications, organizing and executing R&D activities and unifying results, the scientist talks about the planned investments.
Scientific manager of the project prof. Dr. Zita Kriauinien says that new equipment needed for modern research will be purchased, researchers will be able to conduct more advanced research, it will be easier for them to engage in international scientific projects, to conduct new research with leading foreign scientists, and then to publish top-level publications.
We will pay special attention to the application of new technologies
Prof. Dr. Z. Kriauinien draws attention to the fact that the Bioeconomy Research Center of Excellence Development project (BioTEC) is the only one in Lithuania focused on the highest level of scientific research in the country. The idea of the project is to develop a center of excellence for Bioeconomy research and to strengthen the quality of R&D in the fields of Agronomy and Environmental Engineering by developing advanced scientific research. It is important that topics related to healthy soil and plants, sustainable agriculture and food systems, digitalization and robotization of agriculture, climate change, the importance of sustainable resource use are emphasized in EU strategic documents and on a global scale, notes the scientific director of the project.
Speaking about the priority scientific researches expected in the field of Agronomy, the scientist draws attention to research related to healthy soil and plants, as well as sustainability of biological and natural resources, ecosystem services, increasing biological steering. Much attention will be paid to research related to the mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts on ecosystems, as well as increasing the sustainability of agro-ecosystems and ecological intensification. Other extremely relevant research directions are the development of climate-neutral, environmentally and resource-saving competitive agrotechnologies, as well as safe and innovative food products, biological oil industry; sustainable management of water and ems resources.
According to prof. Dr. Z. Kriauiniens, no less attention will be paid to research in the field of GIS systems, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, remote monitoring image processing, data analysis obtained by telemetry systems, application of autonomous robots and drones, which technological processes allow to reduce the environmental impact. In addition, very important research will be carried out in the Life-Cycle Analysis (English) of the production of heavy products, in order to make safer, more accurate, faster and more efficient decision-making, applying to the changing climatic conditions.
The scientific leader of the Bioeconomy Research Center of Excellence Development (BioTEC) project reveals that research in the direction of Environmental Engineering will be directed to solving the issues of precision agriculture, artificial animal husbandry and renewable energy. Scientific research will be associated with the discovery of new agronomic and engineering solutions, allowing to implement new telematics and navigation systems to optimize exchange routes, to apply automatic steering, artificial sensors for determining soil, plant and animal characteristics, algorithms and program management, to implement more efficient soil and soil monitoring aerial and with remote scanning events in the air, use variable rate beams, trimming, spraying, drying, harvesting and other field maps compiled in real time, says prof. Dr. Z. Kriauinien.
Aims to bring together the strongest international team of scientists
The scientist says that the leading scientists of VMU and foreign Agronomy and Environmental Engineering will organize research groups, which will also attract young scientists and researchers. During the implementation of the project, leading scientists in the fields of Agronomy and Environmental Engineering are employed at VDU A and abroad, and young scientists are also attracted. Scientists working in international teams can share their knowledge, as well as take over the experience of other scientists and improve, it opens up more opportunities to go abroad, to participate in prestigious scientific conferences, says the scientific manager of the project.
Prof. Dr. Z. Kriauinien draws attention to the fact that even now important and internationally evaluated scientific research is taking place at the university, which is confirmed by the conclusions of the comparative evaluation. In 2023, during the comparative evaluation, the University’s R&D in the field of Agronomy was assessed as sufficiently strong on a national scale and having a certain relevance at the international level. it was mentioned that research has the potential to develop international scientific leadership, to integrate more international research networks, to attract more international students and to improve research infrastructure. The quality of R&D activities in the field of environmental engineering has been evaluated very well, as it is strong and recognized at the international level in its research field, the conclusions of the comparative evaluation are shared by prof. Dr. Z. Kriauinien.
The growing potential of science helps strengthen ties with business
Assoc. Dr. R. Skominas notes that increasing the potential of science in the field of bioeconomy will create opportunities for the development of scientific and business cooperation. Already, the wind is quite strong. We have many cases when business people turn to us to help develop new technologies or products. Together with Lithuanian companies, as partners, we participate in various international R&D projects, where they also have the opportunity to implement the created innovations. We realized a long time ago that we need business, and we need business, and the project will only strengthen cooperation, the director of the Bioeconomy Research Institute shares the dining room.
According to prof. Dr. Z. Kriauiniens, investments in the development of the Center of Excellence for Bioeconomics Research (BioTEC) can help achieve even higher values and further activate scientific and business cooperation. The assembled leading scientists will prepare applications and carry out scientific projects, prepare and publish high-level scientific articles, organize international scientific conferences, develop international cooperation and expert activities, share the results of research carried out by the unit, the scientific leader of the project speaks about the growing opportunities for scientific activity and cooperation and draws attention to, that all research aims to contribute to the EU oil course, the implementation of the European mission, and the goals of sustainable development.
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