“Greater emphasis must be placed on research, innovation, cross-border cooperation and joint action by the region within the biomass-based economy, in the interests of assuring the further sustainable growth of agriculture and the facilitation of knowledge-based development”, Zsolt Feldman said at the BIOEAST conference, which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and the National Chamber of Agricultural Economics on 21-22 February in Budapest.

“Hungary’s BIOEAST initiative is aimed at facilitating the sustainable development of knowledge-based agriculture, aquaculture and forestry within the bio-based economy in the Central and Eastern European region, and to enable the region’s more significant participation in the European Research Area and increase its share of the application of European Union research & development funding”, the Deputy State Secretary for the Agricultural Economy highlighted.

In his speech, State Secretary Gabriel Csicsai from the Slovakian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported on the results and goals of the 2016 Slovakian EU Presidency, clearly stressing the determinative role and weight of research activities.

Over 100 experts form 7 countries – the four countries of the Visegrád Group, Slovenia, Romania and Croatia – took part in the conference, to help determine the Central and Eastern European region’s joint research goals with relation to the agricultural aspects of the bio-based economy. This is the first international expert-level conference and joint work to enable deeper cooperation between the countries of the Central and Eastern European region on the subject.

Experts from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and Directorate-General for Research & Innovation also took part in the programme, welcoming the regional solidarity and encouraging further cooperation. On the second day of the event, experts from the participating countries reported on several successful examples (good practices) with relation to the bio-based economy.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)