In 2018, UKRAVIT launched the research institute. This project consolidates the best available scientific forces of Ukraine and international experience. Herewith, the goal is very high — to increase the effectiveness and the safety of agricultural production in Ukraine. To be honest, the task is difficult because first of all it is necessary to change the approach of agrarians to the land and production. The first results of Crops Care Institute operations were the topic of out interview with the Senior Scientific Consultant of the Institute, Vladimir Malinovskyi.
Vladimir Malinovskyi was born in Mykolaiv, graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry of Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University. Since 2000, he worked abroad. Has experience in scientific centers and universities in Germany, the USA, Switzerland, in a sphere of organic chemistry, organic electronics, spectroscopy, nanochemistry, photophysics of DNA, etc. Since 2017, he works in UKRAVIT, and is the Senior Scientific Consultant of the research institute Crops Care Institute.
— Vladimir, how do You as a scientist who has a great experience of work in the international research institutes, evaluate development of the science in the agricultural sphere in Ukraine before the launch of the Institute? What problems in Your opinion were the most pressing? Why have You decided to take a part in this project?
Probably, the main problem of the agrarians is the complexity to find the answer on the question in interest. They set the serious tasks and want to use the modern technologies and approaches that are widely used abroad but are difficult to access in Ukraine. Today the solution of most of the tasks needs modern equipment and significant special knowledge. Thus, the help of the specialists in Ukraine to the agrarians is the important and needed aspect.
My interest in the project and the participation can be explained quite simply: the goals and tasks of the Institute are important in terms of development of the agricultural area in general and in terms of educational and social aspects. The UKRAVIT management sets itself ambitious and serious tasks and solves them by demonstrating personally how the business can bring positive effect on the development of the scientific potential. And my desire as Ukrainian is to take part in such project by using my knowledge and experience for the development of Ukraine.
— What goals are of the top priority for work of the Institute?
I would specify three main goals. First — it is to give the maximum support to the agrarians in solving the questions connected with the analysis of soil, plants, products that they use, the finished products and to help in interpretation of the information collected and further recommendations. Moreover, we can help the producers of agriproducts to work at higher level with the utmost regard to the quality of raw materials and finished products. Second — it is the development of the scientific areas that would provide the best solutions in the future which would influence the scientific potential of Ukraine in general. And third — it is to integrate the Institute with the international community and other scientific centers.
— Please, tell us about the possibilities of the Institute and its staff. Were there any problems with finding the employees?
The equipment and the instrumentation of the laboratories of the Institutes make it possible to solve the wide range of analytical problems – from the analysis of the elements and different non organic ions to the provision of quality and quantity analysis of the organic molecules. Although, the machines and devices provide the potential for work, the specific tasks ate sill fulfilled by the personnel. Thus, the personnel matters and the company management tries to attract the best specialists of the area.
As for today, the main emphasis among the tasks has been placed on the first one — the provision of the analytical support for the agrarians and the producers of the chemical products. This task is managed by the service-analytic center of the Institute. Consequently, the personnel issues in this area are solved first of all. In other areas there are vacancies. Moreover, the Institute is developing and widening its area of operations which with time will bring the necessity to attract more specialists of different areas.
— What are the possibilities for young specialists in terms of work in this project?
For the young specialists it is first of all the ability to become a part of the modern research center and to improve their knowledge, develop new skills, grow as a professionals by working in the prospective project. For the students and the young scientists it is a possibility to use their theoretical knowledge practically, to gain more experience as the basis for the further growth. For the young specialists working in other organizations — it is a possibility to implement their own projects, to take a part in joint research programs. The Institute being a new company opens many perspectives, gives a spur for development and attaining the inspiration.
— Of course, 6 months of work for such large-scale project are not enough to draw the conclusions. But we are confident that You have already many things to be proud of. Tell us, please, about the current workload of the laboratories and the success.
The time passed is definitely not enough to draw any conclusions. Moreover, the aspect of the evaluation is always subjective. Everyone estimates in its own way — both the time and the success. Speaking of my estimations of the Institute performance, I could say that it makes its first steps. But these steps are serious, important and valuable.
For the half of the year the service department of the Institute provided many services for the agrarians and it is not going to rest on its laurels. Next season the range of the agrobiological services will be expanded by the phytopathologic researches of the plant materials, the expertise of the seeds, the remote monitoring of the planted areas and the consultations regarding the organic and accurate farming.
Speaking of the scientific projects, they are connected with the optimization and the development of the formulas of the agrochemical products, with ecological issues, with the quality matters and preparation of the water for the farmers, with the research of the chemical products with the plants, accurate farming, combination of the methods of soil scanning by means of drones, with the real physicochemical spectrum analysis, etc. The process of finding the answers is endless. And we always find new areas for work.
If we spark of what we proud of, I would note the level of the equipment and the specialists. For this half of the year many visited the Institute, including the representatives of the leading global companies from Germany, France, Canada, that work in the chemical area, agricultural area and accurate farming. After the meetings with our specialists, we usually see the readiness for the joint ventures.
— How many Ukrainian agrarians did turned to the Institute during this period? What applications were the most typical?
During this period, the Institute provided more than 1000 analysis in different areas. The most popular was the analysis of the soil — on both the main elements (macroelements) and the microelements and different harmful elements. Also, we received the application for the quality analysis of water. Many were interested in the analysis of the plants and the finished products on various chemical indicators. Moreover, we provided the analysis of the agrochemical substances for conformity with the structure declared. Also, we provided the scientific research in terms of the international projects and the research to gain the certificates.
— Traditionally, we would conclude the interview with Your plans for the future. What are the prospects of the domestic science development, taking into account the Institute?
Our plans for the future is to solve the current tasks and to set new ones. It is necessary to continue widening the services department, to develop the scientific department, to enter the international projects and international collaboration. As I have already said, the Institute has made its first steps and it is important not to stop on the results received.
I am not a fan of the fancy words, especially about the project I’m working in. As long as the Institute brings benefits and receives recognitions from abroad it is the only thing that matters. The same thing can be said about the entering the international scene. We have created the new Institute, new history, and I wish it to come up in the academic world. Of course, it needs time. But this goal should be set up now and we should move towards this goal.
Interviewed by Alexandrina Ovdienko, APK-Inform Agency