CEITEC and FNUSA-ICRC Represented the Czech Republic at the Alliance4Life Meeting in Latvia

19. June 2019

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Almost 100 representatives from ten research centres and universities from nine Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries met for the fourth time at the Alliance4Life meeting in early June. These partners form a unique community of institutions in the life sciences and medical fields that is unparalleled in the region. The initiator and coordinator of the alliance is CEITEC Masaryk University (MU). The focus of the meeting was to share best practices and receive training from internal and external experts, as well as discuss the future of the alliance.

The Latvian seaside resort of Jūrmala was the centre of lively discussions held over several days, aimed at sharing ideas for achieving qualitative changes in the management of institutions, thus creating more favourable conditions for high quality research in life sciences. One of the Alliance4life members, the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) was the host of the event.

Both experts from the member institutions and invited lecturers from outside the alliance were involved in sharing best practices through lectures and training sessions in the plenary sessions. The agenda of the Steering Committee meetings and the Strategy Board focused on planning the Alliance's future strategy and activities, particularly from 2020. Several decisions were made, such as achieving greater involvement of researchers into project-based collaboration, building greater capacity for shaping European research policy, and strengthening collaborations with other EU networks. A draft of a White Paper with specific recommendations for policymakers at the national and European levels was also discussed.

The Alliance was created as a joint project that received support from the Horizon 2020 European Framework Program for Research and Innovation. "It is certainly positive that the Alliance, thanks to its intensive joint work, has turned into a real association over the last two years. This is evidenced by the draft Memorandum of Understanding that is foreseen to be signed at the next meeting in Vilnius in October, thus establishing the Alliance4Life as a permanent structure,” explained Zlatuše Novotná, Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations at CEITEC MU and Alliance4Life Coordinator.

"We have succeeded in creating a platform based on the discussion of focus groups working on the most pressing topics relevant to every CEE research institution -  scientific strategy and research evaluation, grants, institutional management, technology transfer, human resources and training, and PR and communication,” said Jiří Nantl, the Director of CEITEC MU. "At the same time, it is clear that our alliance’s participation in these negotiations is beneficial and we can share and pass on our experience to our colleagues from other European countries."

Alliance4Life research centres and universities have been working together since 2018 to improve their functions as a whole, including the internal cultures of their scientific worksites, management quality, and personnel policy rules. In the Alliance4Life, the Czech Republic is represented by two Brno institutions - CEITEC Masaryk University and FNUSA-ICRC.

For more information please visit www.alliance4life.eu.

Author: Zlatuše Novotná, Eva Doležalová

Photo: Kaspars Dobrovolskis; Roberts Vidzidskis