Greet, meet, speak and share
WorldVeg wrapped the year and looked ahead during the 2018 Global R & D Week
The halls of WorldVeg headquarters rang with the sound of lively discussions and laughter during the annual Global R&D Week, held 12-16 November 2018 in Shanhua, Taiwan. The event brought together 90 staff members from five regional offices to report on the year’s progress, plan for 2019, and propose new ideas for the consideration of the entire group. Board Program Committee Chair Marlis Lindecke attended to provide perspective and advice throughout the week.
On Monday, staff reviewed the year’s major accomplishments and discussed strategies for each of the four flagship programs: Healthy Diets, Vegetable Diversity and Improvement, Safe and Sustainable Value Chains, and Enabling Impact. Each flagship evaluated progress in their innovation clusters—the outcome targets pursued through discovery, piloting, and scaling activities and ongoing improvement of products and services.
Regional offices and flagship activities in those regions were in the spotlight on Tuesday. Each regional director (Thailand, India, Tanzania, Mali and Benin) updated colleagues, followed by flagship leader reports.
Exciting new directions for WorldVeg were discussed on Wednesday morning, when staff shared details about the Research Infrastructure Modernization project and WorldVeg seed consortia. Seed quarantine procedures and ethical guidelines for projects involving human participants were reviewed. The afternoon featured tools to improve efficiency, skills for sound project management (including budgeting) and more.
Thursday morning brought a special treat: breakfast in the WorldVeg Demonstration Garden, where more than 100 species of vegetable crops thrive and WorldVeg technologies are on display. Discussions on risk management followed, along with presentations on criteria for establishing new breeding programs, open access publishing, and introductions to new online seed request forms, KD-Dart breeding software, and AkvoFlow for survey data collection.
Friday was a day to share and celebrate. After a talk on telling stories of all kinds (from journal articles to trip reports to success stories), team representatives presented concept notes for the 2019 BMZ/GIZ Large Grants. Winners of the 2018 WorldVeg Photo Challenge were announced (congratulations to Sorwawit Limisiriwat, Sanjeet Kumar, and Sopana Yule for the great photos!) and the WorldVeg Science of Excellence Award was presented to Legume Breeder Ram Nair and his team for their work on mungbean, and to Cucurbit Breeder Narinder Dhillon and his team for bitter gourd. Staff members had time to chat during a field trip to the Shang Sheng cherry tomato grafting nursery in nearby Chiayi, and to enjoy one another’s company (and show off some fancy dance moves) during the farewell dinner.
We’re already looking forward to the 2019 Global R&D Week!
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