Welcome to EU Balkan Vegetables

The initiatives of the project “Balkan Vegetables Research Centre for transfer of European knowledge, research and practice” aim to support the progress of Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute (VCRI) to be reinforced as a leading research center for Balkan region in the field of vegetable science.  Project activities comprise:


1) Lectures held by prominent researchers from leading European Institutes to transfer the recent achievements of European science;
2) Enhancement the professional level of young researchers and exchange of know-how and experience for senior scientists in relevant advanced European Institutes;
3) Improvement and up grading the technical status of Maritsa VCRI;
4) Establishment of Maritsa VCRI as a dissemination centre and promoter of European knowledge and practice in the field of vegetable science on Balkans by active collaboration between relative institutes;
5) Support of Maritsa Technology Transfer Office (TTO) as an innovative interface between the Institute and vegetable producers and processors to transfer the advanced European technologies.


All the project activities are fulfilled in collaboration with the prestige European research institutes as Research Unit for Genetic Improvement of Fruit and Vegetables - Plant Breeding and Genetics Department, INRA, Monfavet, France; Research Institute of Organic Farming (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland; Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands; Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Bari, Italy; Metapontum Agrobios, Metaponto,  Italy; The Development Agency East Netherlands (Oost NV) as well as relative institutes on Balkans.

The project was implemented with the support of

Seventh Framework Programme European Union Seventh Capacities Programme
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FOOD Cluster

Aim of FOOD CLUSTER - to work towards a more complete EU network of regions which have ambitions in food

Ambition of FOOD CLUSTER - strengthening EU Food research driven clusters by interregional cooperation; defining Regional Food RTD strategies; making the EU regional food RTD infrastructure landscape transparent; investing in the combined regional strengths to create excellence in the European Research Area by defining a mutual strategy and developing interregional projects.

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Present your ...

Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute (VCRI), the beneficiary of the project, is a unique entity in Bulgaria in the field of vegetable growing, a part of Bulgarian Agricultural Academy. The scientific staff of Maritsa VCRI consists of 26 researchers (14 Senior scientists and 20 possess PhD-degree) and above 100 specialists and workers. The Institute comprises four major units – Breeding Department, Technology for Growing Department, Vegetable Crops Improvement Center and Technology Transfer Office. The priority investigations of the Institute during the last years emphasize on vegetable quality by improving biological value and sensory characteristics, pest and diseases resistance, high temperature and drought tolerance. A great diversity of vegetables species including domestic forms and varieties, introduced cultivars, breeding lines, wild species etc. are subjected of investigations in order to preserve or to transfer their valuable characters in new varieties and hybrids.

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