Alliance4Life is committed to bridge the innovation gap in CEE region

University of Tartu is engaged in a prestigious EU ninth Framework Programme Horizon Europe four-year project Alliance4Life_BRIDGE aiming to bridge the research and innovation gap between EU14 and EU13. The action is supported by 4, 7 million euros from the Horizon Widera 2023 European Excellence Initiative and led by CEITEC Masaryk University.

On 18-19th March 2024, representatives of twelve Alliance4Life member institutions gathered in Brno to kick-off the new project which will enable the partners to implement 16 work packages focusing on modernization of careers in research, collaborations among partners and engagement with the industry, policy makers and patient organizations. 

Alliance4Life is a permanent structure of leading life science universities and institutions from CEE since 2019. In the new project, Crowdhelix joined as a fresh partner to maximize the dissemination and exploitation of the project results. Crowdhelix is open innovation platform that forges links between an international network of excellent researchers and innovating companies so that they can plan, deliver, and exploit pioneering collaborative projects and value chains.

The new project will launch a virtual research institute

The new project will enable a foundation of virtual research institute that will promote interactions between scientific communities in the member countries. The virtual research institute will be hosted on a new web platform that will provide shared E-learning and enable matchmaking of mentors and mentees and offer industry internships for doctoral candidates. The new web platform will also serve as central project gateway and databank of all deliverables that can be freely exploited by non-members, who wish to follow the good example of the Allaince4Life. 

University of Tartu is leading two work packages in the project, Assessing Research Culture and Advancing Research Culture and is actively participating in the rest of the activities sharing experience and learning from the best practices of other Alliance’s members in the fields of adopting Green Lab practices, interacting with patient organizations, creating excellent spill-over effect in knowledge transfer from academia to industry and vice versa. 

In the frame of the work package Assessing Research Culture, three universities (University of Tartu, University of Vilnius, University of Ljubljana) adopt open peer-reviewed evaluation (research assessment) of research performance. The collaborative units inside the University of Tartu are rectorate, Grant Office, Human Resources Office, but also Estonian Research Council as the coordinative unit of research evaluation in Estonia.

Advancing Research Culture activities, led by the Centre for Ethics in UT, encompass the developing of a methodology for online ethics and RI courses for mainly PhD students and early stage researchers. The courses underline the rules of Horizon and ERC projects' ethics and research integrity rules. UT also organises an onsite international course on research integrity and ethics in 2025. The materials of the courses are presented on the E-Learning Platform created by Alliance4_BRIDGE. 

The participation of the University of Tartu in the Alliance4Life network gives us, on the one hand, the opportunity to exchange experiences with our partners on many problems in the field of higher education that arise at different stages of transition times. On the other hand, it also contains a certain sense of mission for the University of Tartu, because with the help of many international friends, we have already successfully overcome some growth difficulties that others are still dealing with, and therefore we are also able to give them good advice and support.

Toivo Maimets, Professor, Head of the A4L_BRIDGE project in the University of Tartu

From the University of Tartu several administrative and academic units participate in the project: Human Resources Office, Grant Office, Rectorate, Centre for Ethics, Centre for Sustainable Development, faculties of Science and Technology and Medicine, Marketing and Communication Office, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The full press release of the Alliance4_BRIDGE kick-off meeting.

Photo: taken in Brno in front of CEITEC, March 19, 2024


Full data of the project: Horizon Europe European Excellence Initiative grant No 101136453, Alliance4Life Bridging the Research and Innovation Gap in Life Sciences (acronym: A4L_BRIDGE), duration 2024-2028. 

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