Thanks to the EU funding provided by the Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme (EDIOP), several investments were made to promote sustainable growth, high value-added production and employment in the Hungarian economy between 2014 and 2020. One of the most significant projects of the financial period is the plant science research infrastructure at the Georgikon campus of the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The project implemented in Keszthely targeted the complex and comprehensive areas of plant production and breeding, enabling the institute to catch up with the most modern international research.
A complex infrastructural investment project in the field of plant sciences in Keszthely, which meets the scientific requirements of the 21st century and includes high-tech elements, has been implemented. The project serves the development needs of the agricultural sector, as it is very important to be able to create species that are resistant to climate change and competitive under local ecological conditions.
The institute in Keszthely has been the base for potato breeding in Hungary for decades. The main aim of the breeding programme is to produce varieties resistant to the most dangerous diseases and pests, as well as drought-tolerant plants. Growing these varieties requires less pesticides, which helps to produce environmentally friendly and healthy food. In the framework of the project, two biotechnology devices were purchased to support research to test high purity RNA and DNA samples. The equipment also serves to study the properties of plants. The project also includes the creation of a „climate house” in which several generations of plants can be grown each year under controlled conditions, regardless of the weather, speeding up the testing and breeding processes. In the state-of-the-art, 1,000-tonne potato store, potatoes can be stored at an optimum temperature of 5°C with 90 per cent relative humidity.
The project also serves education: students of Georgikon can get acquainted with modern, world-class research tools and learn how to use them. Learning about innovative cultivation technology will promote the Hungarian agriculture and food industry in the long run.
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The project was funded by the EU in the framework of the GINOP-2.2.3-15-2016-00018 project.
Find out more about the project in the Project Finder: Details