16. Jan. 2018

Alliance4Life aims at addressing the existing gap in health research and innovation performance between EU15 and EU13. This new initiative has been supported by the European Commission in the frame of Horizon 2020 Health Working Programme as it is expected that outcomes and recommendations of the Alliance4Life could bring useful suggestions for science policy at both European and Member States level.

Despite heavy investments and other funding coming in past decade from the EU, a substantial gap in research performance and innovation potential persists between the East and the West of the EU. Member institutions of the Alliance4Life believe that to a large extent solution to this problem is to be found in improved governance and managerial practices as well as development of institutional culture at research institutions.

The importance of institutions in providing favourable environment for science has too long been underestimated in this part of Europe“, says Jiří Nantl, Director of CEITEC at Masaryk University and Chair of the Alliance for Life Board. „In result of too much project-depending funding that is typical for most EU13 countries, research institutions are often internally atomized and unable to steer the strategic direction. In these conditions, it takes skills and strength to build an institution that works well above the level of individual teams and projects. EU funds and investments really changed the research landscape in our countries. Now, governance and culture are the next things to make a difference“, adds Jiří Nantl.

Member institutions of the Alliance for Life intend to work together towards improvement in key areas of science policy and management, and will address these issues at institutional, national, and European levels. Alliance for Life members will work through collaborative peer-learning and will be supported by a committee of experts from renowned institutions elsewhere in the European Union.

Findings of the two-year initial project carried out by the Alliance for Life will be available to the European Commission and are expected to shed more light on what policies and approaches might better work to close the research and innovation gap in Europe. Alliance for Life member institutions will also strengthen their own scientific collaborations and will support each other in the area of institutional development. An international school of institutional management in research is an option to be considered to enhance professional training of middle and top-level managers of research institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

Alliance4Life members: CZ: CEITEC Masaryk University, International Clinical Research Center - FNUSA, SVK: Biomedical Research Center SAS; POL: Medical University of Lodz; HRV: School of Medicine, University of Zagreb; EST: University of Tartu; LTU: Vilnius University; LVA: Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis; SVN: University of Ljubljana; HUN: Semmelweis University

The project “Alliance for Life Sciences: Closing Research and Innovation Divide in the European Union” is a Coordination Action supported by Horizon2020 under the contract 779303.