The kick-off conference of the H2020 project A4L_ACTIONS, connecting twelve members from the strategic partnership called Alliance4Life, took place on 25 May. This event opened the continuation of the previously well-executed project Alliance4Life, which resulted in the formal existence of a permanent alliance with the same title.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the entire conference took place online. More than 200 guests from more than 11 countries, representing the scientific community, academics, and politicians, attended the open plenary session and learned about the ambitious plan of the Alliance. Also about 80 guests who are not official members of the Alliance4Life joined this conference to draw inspiration from this successful international project.
This international alliance of leading research institutions and universities operating in the field of life sciences in Central and Eastern Europe will work intensively for the next three years to implement strategies and a number of best practices that have been identified and piloted in the past. The aim of the project is to improve institutional culture and strategic management of involved institutions and to serve as a role model for improving conditions of excellent scientific research in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.
The project partners plan to continue to invest into the career development of researchers and to create a supportive environment that would attract talents from around the world. Great emphasis is also placed on the social relevance of research and its innovation potential. A huge benefit for all research organisations from Central and Eastern Europe is the determination of all involved partners to further share their experience at national levels, and to serve as inspiration for the necessary research and innovation policy reforms in their home countries.
Janina Tutkuvienė, Professor of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Anthropology, VU Faculty of Medicine, who participates in the project's Strategy Board, is pleased with the opportunities for cooperation offered by the project.
"The founding members of the Alliance4Life not only combine research excellence in life sciences, open up infrastructure, coordinate science and business cooperation activities, but also support the mobility of researchers, opportunities for joint research and initiate joint scientific communication. Opportunity to build international research networks for joint projects and exchange of good practice is a very important part of the Alliance,”− said Prof. J. Tutkuvienė.
The Alliance4Life was established in Vilnius in October 2019 uniting the leading research institutions and universities in Central and Eastern Europe operating in the field of life sciences. The Alliance contributes to science policy and sets research priorities at national and EU level by making proposals to increase the successful participation of Central and Eastern European countries in the “Horizon Europe” program. The common mission of the countries is to promote and strengthen the quality of research in Europe and its positive impact on society, human health and quality of life. The Alliance brings together advanced life science institutions from Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary. Bulgarian and Romanian research and study institutions are additionally involved in the activities of the new project.