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National agrigenetics competition Innagrika comes to an end

22 december 2022
National agrigenetics competition Innagrika comes to an end

Nizhny Novgorod, Russia — December 21 — Over 60 high school students from 15 Russian regions have participated in the finals of Innagrika, the first national competition in agrigenetics for high schoolers. Cherkizovo Group, Russia’s largest manufacturer of meat products, partnered the event. Innagrika was hosted by a number of Nizhny Novgorod universities with the support from the regional government.

The Innagrika competition (project of Innopraktika) was launched in October 2022. Around 3,000 high school students from 50 Russian regions who take interest in natural science contended in its first stage. The competition aims to create a talent pool capable of developing and implementing the 21st-century genetics and artificial selection technologies in agriculture.

“Today, the headcount of specialists propelling Russia’s agricultural genetics forward is no more than 350, while the industry needs at least 10,000–12,000 professionals to do the field and lab work, run genetics projects, develop and implement new technologies. Thanks to initiatives such as Innagrika, we will be able to both substitute expensive and sometimes unavailable imported products of artificial selection and make Russia the world’s agricultural superpower,” said Vladimir Avdeenko, Head of Agro- and Biotechnology Development at Innopraktika.

The educational program for Innagrika participants is unique as it combines theory and hands-on training in world-class laboratories under the guidance of leading experts in molecular biology, genetics and bioinformatics. Moreover, the competition winners will also enjoy preferences from the universities co-organizing Innagrika, such as additional points at entry exams and participation in grant programs.

“Cherkizovo Group actively supports projects like Innagrika, as the development of artificial selection is a crucial and pressing matter nowadays. It is important both for the Company, which seeks to strengthen its vertical integration as an agricultural holding, and Russia’s agricultural sector as a whole. Amid the shortage of qualified professionals, student competitions help identify young talents and attract them to the industry through collaboration with large business players,” said Rustam Khafizov, Head of Cherkizovo Group’s Innovative Analysis Center.

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