Reuniting for the 2nd Plenary Meeting

17th – 18th June 2024

Once again, time came for the BBioNets partners to assemble at the occasion of the 2nd Plenary Meeting of the project. Two feelings were prevailing among all consortium representatives: eagerness to finally meet the colleagues you usually work and interact online with in a non-virtual setting, and incredulity at how quickly time flies, making it difficult to believe that 8 months have already passed since our Kick-off Meeting in Cork, Ireland back in November 2023. But this is how European projects do it, isn’t it?

The 2nd Plenary Meeting of BBioNets took place in Puławy, Poland, on 17th-18th June 2024. The city is located in the eastern part of the country – approximately 1.5 hours by car and public transport from the capital Warsaw – at the confluence of the Vistula and Kurówka Rivers. Most importantly for us, it is home to our partner Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG) (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG)

The meeting started with a welcome speech by the organisers, IUNG, and a brief but enlightening presentation about the State Research Institute, considered to be the largest and oldest research and development centre in Poland. Piece by piece, or should we say work package by work package, was discussed in detail, both with regards to the work carried out since the beginning of the project and the steps foreseen for the next months. Despite her busy schedule, our Project Officer, Céline Choquer, was also present and provided valuable feedback to our work.

Figure 2: Group photo

The highlight, perhaps, of the 2nd Plenary Meeting was our field excursion to the Pustelnia Fish Welfare, a local fish farm and restaurant that showcases how European funds can influence the development of rural areas (Figure 3). And the best part? We had the opportunity to taste various fish recipes from the experienced Pustelnia chefs!

Figure 3: Pustelnia fish farming infrastructure

You may ask: what were the feelings prevailing at the end of the meeting? The answer is actually easy; contentment and fulfilment for having the opportunity to visit our hosts’ home base and be part of this experience. Until next time!