The Woskob New Century Fund Allocates Seed Money for Agricultural Research and Education Center in Ukraine, in Collaboration with Penn State University and CRDF Global

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) March 25, 2015

CRDF Global announced today that the Woskob New Century Fund has allocated $ 20,000 in seed funding for the establishment of a Research and Education Center for Agricultural Technologies in Ukraine, in collaboration with the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration, will be the implementing organization for this center, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MESU).

The Woskob New Century Fund is pleased to help catalyze this new cooperation between Penn State and CRDF Global. This is an important step toward the integration of research and education in Ukraine that will enable its agricultural scientists to make enduring contributions to the nations recovery, said George Woskob, Woskob family spokesman.

The Woskob family is committed to supporting Ukrainian researchers and innovators and by extension the Ukrainian people at this extremely challenging time. Agriculture has always been an important pillar of the economy, and developing and adopting new agricultural technologies and practices will be critical to Ukraines restoration, said Woskob.

The announcement of this contribution follows a visit by Ukraines Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Kvit to California in February, facilitated by CRDF Global. Minister Kvit spoke at the AAAS annual meeting, Stanford University and the San Francisco World Affairs Council. His visit drew attention to the difficulty facing Ukrainian scientists and technology innovators, including a dire economic situation, greatly diminished funding, separatist military activity that has displaced universities and research institutes from the eastern part of the country, and the need for widespread reform of the Ukrainian higher education system. It also enabled the minister to learn more about successful higher education models in the U.S.

CRDF Global, through its Kyiv, Ukraine and Arlington, Virginia, offices, will manage a competition to select the host university and enable the centers development. Enhancing research capabilities in universities is a top priority for MESU. With the ministry, CRDF Global will help ensure that the center incorporates these reforms. The partnership with Penn State will help provide curriculum improvement and agricultural extension capabilities for Ukrainian researchers at the center and support exchanges of faculty and students with the center in Ukraine.

With nearly 20 years of experience promoting scientific and technical collaboration with Ukraine, CRDF Global has previously successfully partnered with MESU to establish two university-based research and education centers. The Research and Education Center for Geotechnical Systems Stability at the National Mining University, located in Dnipropetrovsk, was established in 2007. The Research and Education Center for Nanomaterials in Energy Generation and Accumulation Devices at Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk was established in 2009 with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Both centers are still operating well beyond the conclusion of CRDF Global funding.

Penn State began collaborating with Ukraine in 1992 when the Woskob family, with roots in Ukraine, helped open the door for an educational exchange program. Since then, the College of Agricultural Sciences has developed relationships with eight other agricultural universities in Ukraine. In 2006, the Woskob family established the Woskob New Century Fund for Ukraine, an endowment that bolsters the University’s commitment to fostering connections between Pennsylvania and Ukraine. The endowment promotes partnerships, builds institutions and creates networks of support for agricultural entrepreneurs and industries as the foundation for democratic and market-oriented Ukraine. It supports faculty development programs, joint research, graduate assistantships, conferences and exchanges with universities and businesses in Ukraine.

CRDF Global is grateful for the generous support of the Woskob New Century Fund and its ongoing support of Ukrainian science. We also commend Penn State for its enduring commitment to Ukrainian agricultural scientists and its willingness to engage in cross-border collaboration with these highly talented and accomplished researchers, said Cathy Campbell, CRDF Global president and chief executive officer.

Deanna Behring, director of international programs at Penn States College of Agricultural Sciences, added, The support of the Woskob family has for years created strong bonds between Penn State and Ukraine. We are excited that they have chosen to help us embark on this new phase of activity that will create a lasting institutional capability in Ukraine.

To learn more about contributing to the creation of the Research and Education Center for Agricultural Technologies in Ukraine, contact Dr. Marilyn Pifer: mpifer(at)crdfglobal(dot)org.

About CRDF Global

CRDF Global is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 1995 to promote international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training, and services. CRDF Global has nearly 20 years of experience managing international research funding programs and supporting emerging science and technology infrastructure in more than 40 countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

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