VitroHUB laboratory, opened with the support of OPTIM Project, was visited by the Minister of Agriculture of Moldova.
The Minister of Agriculture, together with representatives of the academic environment, donors and entrepreneurs, discussed the opportunities for economic acceleration and support of the public-private partnership visiting the VitroHUB Laboratory, which opened with the support of Switzerland and Helvetas, through OPTIM Project.
The in vitro plant micropropagation laboratory "VitroHUB", one of a kind in Moldova, was launched in 2021, within the Faculty of Biology and Geosciences of the State University. Driven by the need to have quality seedlings that are easily adaptable to the climatic conditions in Moldova, the entrepreneurs (Euroalun) decided to set up a local laboratory, where to divert the imported material and multiply it in quantities that will fill the need for the local market. Jointly with experts from Italy, entrepreneurs set up an in vitro laboratory with high-performance and precision equipment.
Sergiu Melnic, VitroHUB: Our initiative to produce quality material, especially hazel seedlings, was carried out with the support of OPTIM Project, supported by Switzerland and Helvetas. With their help, we installed ultra-needed equipment for an in vitro laboratory: microscopes, particle counter, sterilization equipment, infrared sterilizers, autoclaves. In the first year of production, we counted about 100,000 plants.
Until recently, much of the devirused material was imported from abroad. Today, thanks to digital innovations and the joint efforts of Euroalun, academia, and donors, local producers are able to contribute to the supply chain. This means better economic opportunities, but also investments in education, because the VitroHUB laboratory also offers internships and jobs for university graduates.
All these possibilities were offered, including thanks to the support of the OPTIM Project, together with Switzerland and Helvetas. In this regard, the project team manager, Bojan Kolundzija, mentioned he is very glad to see the results of the joint work in the implementation of innovative technologies in the agriculture of Moldova.
BOJAN KOLUNDZIJA, Team Leader, OPTIM Project: Collaboration between non-governmental organizations, public and private sector is the best formula to bring technology and innovation to agriculture. By working with “VitroHub” we have created an example, from which even other countries can learn.
The importance of the development of this sector was also mentioned by the Minister of Agriculture, Vladimir Bolea.
VLADIMIR BOLEA, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry: The “VitroHUB” laboratory is the proof that science, biology and human skills give impressive results. Our common effort is to revive agricultural science, because all research results must have applicative value. Certainly one of the niches would be the production of certified seed and planting material.
The participants approached topics such as: opportunities to boost progress by connecting the private sector and the academic environment in the Republic of Moldova; the role of the ministry and the university in the given field; the challenges of the production process, but also the development of the production sector with the involvement of development partners.