Ongoing projects

CA18105 – Risk-based meat inspection and integrated meat safety assurance

Funding sources: COST Action EU
Duration: 2019. - 2023.
Institution roles: partner

The European Food Safety Authority has recently proposed a generic framework for a modern, flexible and dynamic risk-based meat safety assurance system. Implementation of such a system is expected to be a slow and careful process that would involve its thorough development, fine-tuning and testing its practical feasibility and general impacts. There are many research groups in Europe that currently perform studies, mostly at national level, to fill the knowledge gaps related to such a new system. The main aim of the RIBMINS network is to combine and strengthen European-wide research efforts on modern meat safety control systems. The network will allow exchange of ideas, experience and results of country-level research studies. Furthermore, the aim is to create a platform for training of relevant participants in the new meat safety system and thus help its operability, as well as to inform relevant stakeholders about the requirements, benefits and consequences of the new system. The RIBMINS network will consist of five Working Groups: 1. on scope and targets of meat safety assurance, 2. on farm-level controls and risk categorisation of farms, 3. on abattoir-level controls and risk categorisation of abattoirs, 4. on meat safety assurance system impact with changes, addition and alternatives to meat inspection, and 5. on meat safety assurance system training, communication and monitoring. Overall, the network shall help the full development and implementation of the general principles of meat safety assurance system across Europe for the benefit of consumers, industry and protection of animal health and welfare.

Contact: izv. prof. dr. sc. Nevijo Zdolec,

Upgrading the research performance in molecular medicine at the Faculty of the Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb

Funding sources: FP7-ERAChairs-Pilot Call-2013
Duration: 2014. - 2019.
Institution roles: prijavitelj

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb (FVM) is well established research institution in Croatia with more than 178 staff members who have excellent education and scientific experience. In order to conduct structural changes in veterinary medicine, scientists at FVM have accepted ERA Chair initiative, aiming at fostering structural changes, synergies between cohesion and research funding, and to raise research quality in the application of molecular technologies to international levels of excellence.

The project proposal aims to reinforce research performance of FVM through enhancing its capacities in molecular veterinary medicine, by attracting outstanding experienced researchers, transfer of knowledge and research potential, especially in the fields of proteomics and metabolomics.

The exchange of know-how and experience with esteemed outstanding experienced researchers will be accomplished through coherent set of measures: training, workshops and trans-national two-way secondments of research staff. The workshops on different aspects in molecular medicine organised in Zagreb and will mostly cover three chosen fields: comparative tumour analysis, post-genomic technology and wildlife research at the FVM departments. By the upgrading of its research performance and excellence FVM will improve performance in competitive research funding, prevent brain drain, enhance its competiveness and visibility in broader region and become internationally recognized partner.

The proposed activities should increase research performance in specific field of molecular veterinary medicine and FVM will be able to increase its involvement in international research projects with EU partners and to be better integrated into the ERA. The ERA Chair Initiative will be unique in croatian veterinary science with potential benefits for the broader research community and neighbouring countries.

Contact: Prof. dr. sc. Vladimir Mrljak,

Preventing the extinction of the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population through reinforcement and long-term conservation (LIFE Lynx)

Funding sources: LIFE Nature program Europske komisije
Duration: 2017. - 2024.
Institution roles: partner

LIFE Lynx project’s primary objective is rescuing the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to preserve it in the long term. Currently, the population is small, isolated, and extremely inbred. It urgently needs reinforcement by introducing additional, healthy animals from another population. We will reinforce the Dinaric-SE Alpine population with lynx from the viable source population in the Carpathians, while maintaining high public support. We will collaborate across all EU countries sharing this population to develop and implement a systematic approach to ensure long-term viability of the reinforced population. We will work closely with core stakeholders to further develop partnerships and to ensure broad public acceptance of lynx conservation. We aim to develop science-based management tools for strategic planning to ensure long-term viability of lynx. These include using computer modelling based on data from the project to understand how to genetically and demographically manage the population for the long term. This scientific information will be incorporated into management plans and other strategic documents. Another objective is to improve population connectivity for lynx. Natural gene flow of lynx within this population will be increased, in order to avoid additional reintroductions in the future. Such a metapopulation will help reduce negative impacts of habitat fragmentation and will reverse genetic deterioration across entire Dinaric-SE Alpine population.

Contact: doc. dr. sc. Magda Sindičić,

Pan-European soft skills curriculum for undergraduate veterinary education – SOFTVETS

Funding sources: Erasmus+
Duration: october 2018 - october 2020
Institution roles: prijavitelj

Recent research and surveys among veterinarians show an increasing need for enabling veterinarians with skills to cope with challenges imposed on them by the ever changing world and the enormous strain the profession puts on them. Skill acquisition and development are essential for the performance and modernization of the profession in order to provide new forms of flexibility and security for veterinary professionals. Therefore, the target group of this project are students of veterinary medicine that need to be better prepared for real-life challenges in their future working environment.

The goal of this project is to create a framework, and produce an ideal version of the new soft skills curriculum that would be applicable in veterinary higher education throughout Europe. As it should cover a wide range of life skills to cover all aspects of modern day challenges it will be organized in three sections: interpersonal communication, entrepreneurship and digital skills. The project team will firstly develop a set of recommendations for learning outcomes in life skills, a training concept for education of teachers involved in soft skill teaching and carry out a pilot implementation project of selected modules at implementation partners’ institutions. The intellectual outcomes will be developed in coordination with students’ association, professional association of veterinarians and an accreditation authority for veterinary education establishments within Europe to make sure it responds correctly to the needs of both students and labour market.

Contact: Lada Radin,

EU Horizon 2020 bio-chip (bioengineered grafts for cartilage healing in patients)

Funding sources: EU Horizon 2020
Duration: 2015 - 2019
Institution roles: partner

In an effort to overcome the limitations of currently available treatments, the BIO-CHIP project aims at carrying out a phase II clinical trial (Nose To Knee II) for the treatment of traumatic cartilage lesions in the knee, with two main innovations:
the use of autologous nasal chondrocytes as a cell source superior to articular chondrocytes and
the delivery of a tissue graft (tissue therapy) as opposed to a cellular graft (cellular therapy).
We intend to formally test the hypothesis that implanting a mature cartilage graft will improve the clinical efficacy, leading to a significant improvement in the main primary outcome, i.e., pain and functionality.

Contact: Prof dr. sc. Dražen Matičić