ENHANCE (Building an Excellency Network for Heightening Agricultural ecoNomic researCh and Education in Romania) was a Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support project funded by the European Commission. It was a three-year project (2016-2018) developed by four European members, who, at present, aim at continuing their partnership, enhancing the potential of the outcomes obtained in the past years.
Partner 1: University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest (USAMVB)
University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest is a traditional higher education institution established in 1852. It is organized into seven faculties, and twenty-four specializations, aiming at training specialists in all fields of agricultural and food industry, from economic engineering in agriculture, animal husbandry, agriculture and agricultural products to processing.
As it has permanently developed its R&D activities and accumulated experience in running scientific research programs and projects, both at the national and international levels, USAMV has participated in competitions for the running of national research, development and innovation programs. Thus, from 2001 to 2007 USAMV Bucharest provided the management for the national research activity in the fields of agriculture, food, and biotechnologies.
Scientific research is approached with seriousness and professionalism; in 2014 the university developed 72 projects with national and international funding. USAMV Bucharest acted as a project leader to 38 projects and as collaborating partner to 32 projects.
In this project, USAMVB is represented by The Faculty of Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development, the biggest of the seven faculties within the University, whose motto has been “We Train to Lead!”. The academic activities take place in Bucharest and in two local branches (Călăraşi and Slatina) and the students enrolled in full time studies or distance learning can choose between two specializations at Bachelor level, 6 Master programmes and a customized doctoral programme in the field of Engineering and Management in Agriculture and Rural Development.
Partner 2: Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research (Agroscope)
Agroscope is the centre for agricultural research of the Swiss government. It hosts two economic research groups. The Swiss participation will be coordinated in the “Socioeconomics” research group which links economic, sociological and political research in the area of agriculture.
Its main instrument is SWISSland, the first agent-based model that depicts the farming sector of a whole nation. The second group is called “farm management”. It is specialized in full cost calculation in which it applies maximum entropy.
Partner 3: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences - Department of Economics
and Social Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics (BOKU)
The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna is an education and research centre for natural and renewable resources, with about 10,000 enrolled students and about 1,500 academic staff. The research focus of the involved “Department of Economics and Social Sciences” is on economics, policy and law of the agricultural, food and forest sector, natural resources and the environment.
The department particularly works in the fields of sustainable development, management of biological resources and environmental policy, governance, rural development and agricultural sociology as well as optimization and valuation of managerial processes in agriculture, forestry, timber industry, environmental economics and food economy. The “Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics” (AFO) focuses on agricultural and forestry management.
AFO is made up of about 10 researchers in the field of agricultural economics, agricultural and agri-environmental policy analysis and environmental and resource issues related to agriculture. Besides other, the institute’s work-topics in agricultural economics focus on analysis and empirical studies at the farm level, on-farm decision making processes, land valuation, household income analysis and on-farm production planning. The institute develops and evaluates framework and governance concepts for the sustainable production of biological resources. Special emphasis is on the topic of multi-functionality of agriculture and forestry systems. AFO has participated (and participates) in various EU-projects (CLAIM, FarmPath, Rethink; RES, EU-AGRO-BIOGAS, EUROFOREX).
Partner 4: Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)
IAMO was established in 1994 as a foundation of public law to analyse agricultural development in the former socialist economies of Europe and Asia, to train scholars, and to be a forum for scientific exchange. The institute hosts three scientific departments: Agricultural Markets Agricultural Policy, and Structural Change.
Since its establishment IAMO coordinated two EU frame work projects (SCARLED, COMPETE) and participated in more than 10 EU projects (e.g. FACTOR MARKETS, ERA Net MULTIAGRI, JPI DEDIPAC). Currently, IAMO’s research focuses mainly on the new EU member states and candidate countries on the Balkan, countries of the former Soviet Union, and China.
Scientists engage continuously in teaching various topics in agricultural economics and geography at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen. Furthermore, scientists regularly participate in postgraduate teaching in the Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics and international Summer Schools (e.g. Ukraine, Central Asia).