Ten leading life science institutions from nine Central and Eastern European countries have formed Alliance4Life
Alliance4Life aims at addressing the existing gap in health research and innovation performance between EU15 and EU13 countries. 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 regarding science policy at both European and Member States level.
Despite heavy investments and other funding coming from the EU during the past decade, 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 this problem could be, to a large extent, solved by improving governance and managerial practices as well as by developing an “institutional culture” at research institutions.
„The importance of institutions 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 a Chair of the Alliance for Life Board. „As a result of too much project-dependent funding that is typical for most EU13 countries, research institutions are often internally atomized and unable to steer in the strategic direction. Under these conditions, it takes a lot of skill and strength to build an institution that works well above the level of its individual teams and projects. EU funds and investments really changed the research landscape in our countries. It is now time for the governance and institutional culture to make a difference“, adds Jiří Nantl.
Member institutions of the Alliance4Life intend to work together towards improving the 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 from all around 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