In order to fully capitalise on the opportunities for staff training and prepare the IFVCNS administration to efficiently support the scientific and innovative potential developed within the CROPINNO project, the IFVCNS administrative, financial and legal staff spent the last week of August at The University of Padua, Italy. The International Research Office of the University of Padua gave the IFVCNS team valuable insight into the best practices in smooth project implementation, sound financial management, and compliance with legal requirements .

The IFVCNS team also spent one day at the Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, where the members of the DAFNAE grant office shared their experiences with project coordination, engagement of stakeholders and managing documentation required for project audit.

The remainder of the visit was dedicated to learning about the internal structure and organisation of the International Research Office, and how it assists researchers during the pre- and post-award phase of projects. Numerous important topics from project planning to financial and tehnical reports on project merrit were covered during the meetings, with special attention on the ethical issues of project proposals and the principles of communication, dissemination and exploitation of project results.

Founded in 1222, the Università degli Studi di Padova is one of the world’s oldest universities, well known for its rich academic tradition and a reputation for excellence. The university’s commitment to innovation, research, and education resulted in a great number of awarded international projects. Successful implementation of the projects awarded to UNIPD is largely attributable to the highly experienced professionals at UNIPD International Research Office, who assist researchers in smooth project implementation, sound financial management, and full compliance with the EU legal requirements. The IFVCNS team had a unique opportunity to learn from the best.