The Agrotechnology Research CERCA Centre, Agrotecnio, was created in 2012 and since then has maintained a steady growth trajectory. With more than 150 scientists organised into fifteen research groups and linked to two Catalan universities, Agrotecnio is today one of the most important agrotechnology research centres in Spain. However, it had never brought together all the staff to get to know each other across groups and areas, until today.
On Thursday 5th October, the first teambuilding activity of the centre was held, an event that aims to become an annual gathering for all Agrotecnio staff. More than 100 people from all the research groups took part in the activities programmed for this first edition, closely linked to the centre’s research activity.
The day began with a get-together of the youngest research staff, those who are currently studying for their PhD or have recently obtained it. For about a year now, Agrotecnio has been organising forums designed for these people, which address cross-cutting issues that can help them in the development of their professional career, the “Early Career Forums“. The meeting that took place yesterday sought to find out the concerns and needs of the youngest researchers so that the next forums can be adapted to them.
At midday began the first Agrotecnio blind tasting and popular tasting competition, Agrogourmet, led by Mª Paz Romero, principal investigator of the Food Bioactive Compouds research group, and Francisco Molino, researcher in the Applied Mycology group. In this first Agrogourmet contest, four types of ham, cheese and wine were tasted, which the contestants had to try to identify. Pilar Sopeña, Breno Dealmeida, Josu Alday, Irene Teixidó and Paula Curto made up the team that achieved the highest score and turned in the results sheet most quickly. In recognition, they received a diploma and a basket of products from a local cooperative.
To end the day, the more than one hundred participants were organised to taste some pork loins provided by the Animal Breeding research group and cooked by the restaurant l’Espurna. Lunch was preceded by speeches by Agrotecnio’s Director, José Antonio Bonet; iCERCA’s director, Lluís Rovira; and the Secretary for Food of the Deparment of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Carmel Mòdol. Organised as an experiment, the meal consisted of -among other things- whole or partially Duroc pork loins, which were served on different coloured plates in order to find out whether those who tasted them preferred the pork of one type or the other.
Photo album of the event: