Institutional research project
Long-term concept of the research organization development (hereinafter referred to as the “LTCROD”) of the Crop Research Institute (hereinafter referred to as the CRI) has been prepared in accordance with the Concept of Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Agriculture for the years 2023-2032, (hereinafter referred to as the „R&D&I Concept“), the Strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic with a view to 2030, the Strategy of Gender Equality for the years 2021-2030 and the Methodology for the Evaluation of Research Organisations of the Ministry of Agriculture. The LTCROD presents the general framework of the research organisation’s activities for the years 2023 – 2027.
Vision of the development of the RO in the context of its mission for the period 2023-2027
The vision of the Institute’s direction is based on the scope of the CRI’s activities, which is set out in Article VI. of the Founding Charter of 25 June 2006. The vision aims to fulfil the research needs related to the EU Common Agricultural Policy, reflected in national strategies and documents.
The basic vision is to continue building the CRI as a top and competitive scientific institution with excellent national and international credibility and high contribution in the field of agriculture, crop production and other fields of agricultural and environmental sciences. The CRI, achieves significant scientometrically evaluable results and practically applicable results. The main activity of the Institute is research in the field of agricultural and environmental sciences with a focus on crop production leading to the creation of original knowledge, innovative practices and new technologies. In particular, the research aims to improve the condition of soils, increase carbon sequestration, slow down water runoff from the landscape, preserve and develop biodiversity, improve the production potential of plants and its stability, and implement balanced crop and feed production systems to ensure food security, health and quality agricultural production in a changing climate while supporting the bioeconomy. Emphasis will be placed on the development, validation and deployment of modern precision farming technologies and digital technologies.
The focus of the research responds to the needs of practice. The CRI supports the participation of users of research results in the solution of projects, in the verification of research results and in the transfer of results. An essential part of the institution’s vision is to provide high quality visibility of results and advice, to popularise the results of agricultural research and to engage in awareness-raising activities and professional education of pupils, students and the general public.
The management of research and funding of the LTCROD takes into account the balance between the requirements for achieving scientific excellence in international comparison and the requirements for achieving knowledge, technologies and practices that can be applied in practice. The development of collaboration with scientists and researchers is encouraged both between disciplines and specialisations within the institution and among other institutions within the country and internationally.
Measures to ensure the development of the Institute’s research activities:
- The basic research directions of the CRI are newly more interconnected through research plans and thus have an interdisciplinary complex character.
- Human resource development, in particular ensuring the presence of creative, efficient and versatile researchers capable of collaborating across their professional fields. A progressive and motivating internal wage policy will be set, organisational skills development of staff will be supported and appropriate infrastructure will be provided.
- Seeking opportunities in areas of further and other activities. Improving the transfer of results and knowledge to the government and commercial spheres and improving cooperation with the private sector.
- Ensuring infrastructure development. Grant sources will be actively sought and project proposals will be developed for the implementation of investments in research and support infrastructure and towards a more cost-effective use of existing assets and energy resources.
LTCROD objectives for the period 2023-2027
The LTCROD reflects current research and development trends in the agri-food sector in accordance with the R&D&I Concept and agricultural policy. The submitted research objectives (ROs) are mainly focused on the area of crop production with a priority focus on current research and technological trends, taking into account the requirements of the EU strategic documents and new challenges such as digitisation and greening of crop production or response to climate change. The main focus of research is on safe and quality crop production and food production. Thus, the ROs include the development of cultivation technologies with regard to the promotion of biodiversity, innovation of methods of integrated plant protection against harmful organisms. The field of biotechnology, including the development of plant genomics, is included in several ROs, ranging from new breeding techniques to the application of new crop varieties and technologies in the production chain. A separate RO focuses on the development of smart agriculture and precision agriculture. One RO is aimed at supporting the development of the vegetable sector. Another RO is focused on non-food production of plant biomass, including bio-waste and its use. In the food sector, one RO focuses in particular on the development of new methods and innovative technologies to ensure the quality and safety of commodities and on the development of new innovative foods with health benefits for consumers.
The substantive focus of research under the LTCROD will contribute to addressing the challenges and achieving the objectives: Maintain or increase crop productivity while optimising intensification inputs; Halt soil degradation and improve soil health; Reduce greenhouse gas production and pollution; Minimise the impact of production on nature and biodiversity; Increase biomass production for non-food uses, including optimising waste utilisation; Increase the production and availability of quality food while reducing pesticide residues and natural toxins in food.
The basic tool for the implementation of the LTCROD and the development of the main activities at the CRI is 13 research objectives. The content and solutions of these ROs are aimed at achieving the objectives of the key areas and research directions according to the R&D&I Concept; each RO has a coherence of its subject focus with the key areas, research directions and research priorities in the context of fulfilling the vision of the R&D&I Concept and the approach to addressing challenges in response to societal and global changes.
Figure: The graphical analysis shows the top 50 most frequent keywords from all CRI results applied in 2017-2021