LIVINGAGRO DURING COVID-19: learn to know our Project Managers - Part II!


Life @ CNR DISBA with Marina BUFACCHI (PP1)

About the Italian National Research Council, Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Science (CNR DISBA)

The Department of Bio-Agri-Food Sciences (DISBA) carries out research, innovation and training activities in all fields related to agriculture and food sciences. DISBA wants to contribute to the progress of scientific and technological knowledge useful for the development and enhancement of a sustainable and innovative agri-food system to face the important global challenges of the earth’s future, including the need to supply food, water and energy to a growing population, through the sustainable use of limited natural resources. The Department is made up of 9 Institutes and, in terms of international, territorial and neighborhood cooperation, participates, also through the institutes that belong to it, in more than 180 national and international research projects. CNR ISAFOM (Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems of the Mediterranean) is one of the institutes belonging to DISBA and deals with the study and analysis of the physical, chemical and biological processes that determine the functioning and dynamics of agro-ecosystems in Mediterranean climate environments, for the qualitative and quantitative improvement of production, for the optimization of the use of natural resources and for the enhancement of the functions of agricultural and forestry systems.

Learning to know Marina BUFACCHI, Project Manager at CNR ISAFOM

After graduating in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Perugia, Marina Bufacchi has been involved for over 25 years in the promotion, organization and management of research, development and diffusion of innovation activities, at the beginning in the agro-food and environmental sectors and, subsequently, in the sector of technologies applied to cultural and environmental heritage. For some years she has dealt with international cooperation with developing countries.
Since 2012 he has been working at the Perugia office of the Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems of the Mediterranean - ISAFOM where he oversaw, among other, the design and coordination of two EU-funded projects (FFW, 7° FP GA#308733 - BeFOre, Horizon2020 GA #645595). She is currently involved in the implementation of LIVINGAGRO project funded under the ENI CBC MED Program. She currently holds the position of Acting Director of the CNR ISAFOM Institute.


Work during COVID19 health emergency

Following the measures taken to adequately contrast spreading of SARS COV 2, the CNR has ordered the use of smart-working to all professional and technical figures able to work remotely. This also influenced the implementation of LIVINGAGRO project. In particular, once activities relating to meetings and co-presence meetings were postponed to a date to be identified, video conferences were organized whenever possible, using various tools for remote connection, such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, etc., thus managing to maintain contact with the other project partners. Thanks to these technologies it was possible to continue sharing information and experiences, even if with some limitations. Efforts were concentrated on activities such as the study of the model for the Living Laboratory “Olive Multifunctional System”, the definition of the “Capitalization plan” and the composition of the Cross Cutting Issues Committee. The same technologies are expected to be used to organize the first Steering Committee meeting of the project, previously postponed due to the SARS COV 2 emergency.



Life @ MAICH with Panagiotis KALAITZIS (PP4)

About the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICH)

The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania is the 4th constituent institute of CIHEAM, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, an Intergovernmental Organization which was founded at the joint initiative of the OECD and the Council of Europe on May 21st 1962 under an agreement signed by the governments of seven southern European countries: France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Yugoslavia. The 1962 agreement establishing the Centre stipulates that CIHEAM’s mission consists in “providing supplementary education (economic as well as technical) and developing a spirit of international cooperation among agricultural personnel in Mediterranean countries”. CIHEAM is made up of four Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes (MAIs), located in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain), and a General Secretariat based in Paris. Since 1986 and as the 4th constituent institute of CIHEAM, MAICH pursues its three main complementary missions through post-graduate specialized education networked research facilitation of regional debate with focus in the fields of Business Economics and Management, Geo-information in Environmental Management, Horticultural Genetics and Biotechnology, Food Quality and Chemistry of Natural Products, Sustainable Agriculture, and has established itself as an authority in Mediterranean agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

Learning to know Panagiotis KALAITZIS, LIVINGAGRO Project Manager at MAICH

Dr. Panagiotis Kalaitzis achieved his Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of Maryland, in the USA. He then joined the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, as Research & Studies Coordinator of the Department of Horticulture and transformed it within couple of years into the Horticultural Genetics & Biotechnology Department. His research interests are focused on the molecular physiology of horticultural crops and, specifically, in the regulation of developmental programs such as fruit ripening of the model crop tomato and olives as well as abiotic stress responses due to climate change. In addition, he has significant experience in food authenticity by using biotechnological approaches in food matrices such as olive oil. He has more than 50 publications and has coordinated and participated in more than 30 different European and national research projects. He is Vice-Chair of the COST ACTION ROXY CA18210 “Oxygen Sensing a novel mean for biology and technology of fruit quality” and member of the Core Group of the COST ACTION CA1711 “Data integration of maximize the power of omics for grapevine improvement”.

Work during COVID19 health emergency

During this period, the Corona virus crisis has spread further the growth of online work and, through regular e-meetings, Dr Kalaitzis is working on the implementation of LIVINGAGRO project. Through conference calls with Greek farmers and entrepreneurs, from the olive multifunctional system, he is working to assess their specific needs for innovation and re-orient research activities to satisfy their needs and examine the possibility of transferring ready-to-use innovations.