Towards the establishment of an Applied Sciences Center of greenhouse technology “Vegetables Future” – VEGEFUT-Ukraine

January 15, 2016

     On January 13, 2016, research and practice seminar on greenhouse technologies was held, with participation of the President of “Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association Chernyshenko E.V., academic staff, NULES students and postgraduates, National University of Food Technologies, chief engineer of “Greenhouse” Concern” Public Company Melnychenko O.V. Also, postgraduate of the Chair of Automation and Robotics Systems named after Academician Martynenko I.I. Bohdan Kuliak showed his research (supervisor of studies – Assistant Professor Reshetiuk V.M.).

    Long ago advanced countries successfully resolved the issue of the public supply of crop products throughout the year. This task is resolved by intensive use of covered soil facilities included. Thus, in the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, where by using advanced technologies, a variety of plant products can be grown, greenhouses occupy tens of thousands of hectares (in Ukraine only 500 hectares under glass). By the way, the technologies used in the covered soil facilities are energy-packed and the prime cost of energy reaches 70%. These technologies require new diverse knowledge that is constantly updated and improved over time.

     The problems of present greenhouse industry in Ukraine are witnessed by participants of various forums, the main among them is the lack of a bridge between science and industry because of low educational and scientific competitiveness of universities and the lack of innovation and training center and courses for participants of greenhouse business.

     One of the key elements to ensure the resolution of these tasks is to create an Applied Research Center. The kind of open innovative space where all the main activities are concentrated: training, workshops, scientific research. It provides direct contact with developers, entrepreneurs, scientists and experts of greenhouse industry. The added value of this space will be the achievement of basic knowledge about the current state and trends of greenhouses development, providing additional theoretical and practical training in the field of organization and greenhouses project management.
     European countries have resolved the issue of knowledge renovation for the production through design, construction and active operation of Applied Research Centers that bring together the various kinds of production and science interests. In the European environment similar projects are funded by the EU grants (worth 10-12 million euros) and operate successfully. Among them GreenQ (Netherlands) Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Institute of Biophysics and Biochemistry of Polish Academy of Sciences, A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In Ukraine, this problem is solved by the business trips of individual representatives into European Applied Research Centers to get acquainted with the latest technology at a very high cost.

     NULES of Ukraine, together with the “Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association, in recent years has completed some work in this direction, which resulted in a Road Map project – a symbiosis of problems and ways to solve them with the implementation of some of its provisions. It looks like a three-level hierarchical structure:

  • level 0 – provided a detailed review of the aforementioned European projects and their analysis. The finale of work was the production of project center in conjunction with the company GreenDrop (Poland) – author of the best centers in Poland.
  • level 1 – creation of the center: joint efforts of employers, universities and international organizations (“Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association, NULES of Ukraine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, National University of Food Technologies, Pompy Ciepła Podhale Sp. z o.o.) to participate in international projects, attracting domestic and foreign business partners.
  • level 2 – support of operations of Applied Research Center (“Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association, NULES of Ukraine and university-partners, tenant companies, academic institutions).

     In Ukraine, there is already a prototype of future Applied Science Center of Greenhouse Technologies. It operates on the territory of Mezhyhirya and requires conservation and, at first, the state support. In this regard, we propose, first, to submit the Centre into “Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association for operational management (for saving) to resolve legal identity. Second, to instruct NULES of Ukraine to provide scientific support of center operations. Third, with the participation of “Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association, to establish state program of temporary support of the Centre to ensure its operation. And fourth, to form an organizing committee from among the representatives of NULES of Ukraine, university-partners – Warsaw University of Life Sciences, National University of Food Technologies, “Greenhouses of Ukraine” Association, Mezhyhirya community to determine the direction of activities and long-term use of the center.

     If the project comes into light, we will achieve higher training quality of university graduates, mutually beneficial cooperation of all participants. This, in turn, will ensure further integration of Ukraine into the European community.

     P.S. …Marginson S., Van der Wende, M. and others in the paper “Higher Education until 2030” among the main trends of higher education development, stress out the development and intensification of international research in conditions of cooperation strengthening between universities and increased competition between them. In such circumstances, research universities receive the dominance in this scenario. Their importance is primarily due to the implementation of a meaningful contribution to the formation and development of intellectual potential of the state and providing innovative educational services, the creation of new knowledge and its use to solve pressing social problems.

     On behalf of the participants of the research and practice seminars, I would like to thank the Rector of our University Stanislav Nikolaenko for comprehensive support and assistance in the formation and development of the aforementioned project.

Volodymyr Reshetiuk,
Assistant Professor of the Chair of Automation and
Robotic Systems named after Academitian Martynenko I.I.


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