18. Jan. 2021
Alliance4Life’s new project A4L_ACTIONS, submitted under the Horizon 2020 programme, has been selected for funding. Alliance4Life’s next three years will thus be co-financed with a grant of 2 mil. EUR, which will allow a number of already successfully piloted good practices to be put into action. The new project will further strengthen the international reputations of Alliance4Life and project leader CEITEC Masaryk University, in terms of improving the culture and governance of health research-performing institutions, and in serving as an inspiration for research policy reforms in Central and Eastern Europe.
Despite considerable investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), there are still large differences in Research and Innovation (R&I) performance between various countries in Europe. This issue has a major socio-economic impact and political consequences, especially in the lower-performing regions of the EU. The R&I gap in the health sector has a profound effect on the distribution of research funding from the EU Framework Programmes, and therefore hinders the overall impact of R&I results on the quality of health and life of European citizens.
The participating institutes of the A4L_ACTIONS project aim to address the roots of health research and the innovation gap by improving institutional culture and governance in the lower-performing Central and Eastern European countries. “Our goal is to further increase attractiveness of our members for international collaborations with advanced European countries and to create spill-over effects in the whole region,” explains Zlatuse Novotna, the project coordinator. Alliance4Life is today an established network of progressive health research institutions based in Central and Eastern Europe. The member institutes have successfully piloted good practices and will build upon the achieved results.
A4L_ACTIONS is the continuation of the successfully implemented Alliance4Life project that was kick-started and coordinated in Brno three years ago by CEITEC Masaryk University. The alliance connects progressive Life Science institutions from Central and Eastern Europe. Its mission is to support and strengthen European research excellence and the impact of scientific research on society, human health, and quality of life. The 10 founding members formalized the alliance as a permanent structure in October 2019 in Vilnius through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, and continued with their collaboration even during the difficult year 2020. Two new member institutions from Bulgaria and Romania were invited to join the A4L_ACTIONS project, which will start in May 2021.
All participating institutes are committed to working towards a culture that fosters excellence through piloting peer-evaluation and assessment of institutional practice with a clear aim to professionalize research administration in the CEE region. The partners will work together to initiate new international projects with advanced partners and collaborations with industry. A lot of attention will be paid to the career development of researchers, nurturing talent and scientific networking. The partners are planning to raise the competences of technology transfer specialists and to create an industry relations platform linking academia and industry. A big advantage is also CEITEC´s membership and active involvement in another important alliance – EU-LIFE, which connects leading western-European Life Science institutes. This bridge between West and East allows for sharing best practices across the two regions, and a spill-over effect across the entire Central and Eastern Europe.