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LinkTADs presented in Brussels

07 July 2016 - Launched in November 2013, LinkTADs is a three-year initiative coordinated by FAO and funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to coordinate European and Chinese research on animal health. Reaching its end at the end of October 2016, LinkTADs will focus the last months of the project’s lifetime in the dissemination and sharing of the project’s achievements, tools, results and legacy. This dissemination will take the shape of articles in the press, social media, but mostly through the organization of dissemination events:

  • LinkTADs will introduce its results at the Tropical Animal Diseases and Veterinary Public Health conference in Berlin on 4-8 September 2016;
  • LinkTADs will organise  a session on "Coordinating veterinary research between EU and China" on 29 September 2016 at the Annual Conference of the EPIZONE project;
  • The final dissemination event in China will take place at a conference held in Kunming, Yunnan, on 20-23 October 2016, which is organized by the Association of Veterinary Biotechnology and the Association of Veterinary Immunology. Around 400-500 participants from research institutes, universities and industries are expected.

In line with this dissemination efforts, Daniel Beltran-Alcrudo, the LinkTADs coordinator, recently presented the project at the Societal Challenge 2’s (SC2) Dissemination Event in Brussels on 27 June 2016. The event was jointly organised by the EC Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the Research Executive Agency. The meeting targeted potential applicants for the four calls published under the SC2’s Work Programme (i.e. Sustainable Food Security, Blue Growth, Rural Renaissance and Bio-based innovation) in the Horizon 2020 (an €80 billion EU Research and Innovation programme).

The presentation on LinkTADs was part of the Sustainable Food Security session, aimed at showcasing interim results of selected projects (namely FOODINTEGRITY, SAFETYPACK, COMPARE, I.FAMILY and LinkTADs) funded under FP7 and Horizon 2020 and to discuss "lessons learnt".

LinkTADs presentation covered the project outline, a consortium overview, major project results, impact (how it was measured and disseminated), lessons learnt (and challenges), and knowledge gaps identified that would deserve additional research. The presentation was followed by a questions and answer session, which focused mostly on the cultural challenges and language barriers. The difficulty of working with the co-funding mechanisms in place for China was also highlighted.

The SC2 event finished with a panel discussion, where the lessons learnt from the different sessions were presented in an open forum for discussion. Within the Sustainable Food Security session, the following major commonly identified themes/issues across European projects were highlighted:

  • Importance of trans-disciplinary collaborations;
  • Bringing the consortium with the right people right from the start, including consumers, farmers, etc.;
  • Importance of considering and and including economic viability and consumer acceptance issues and socioeconomic factors right from the start;
  • Data access and data management;
  • Important of standardization;
  • Intellectual property right (IPR) management (i.e. get the consortium agreement agreed and signed before the grant agreement);
  • Different needs from different partners (IPR, patenting, publications, etc.);
  • Growing importance of social media and interconnectedness of media;
  • Translation of results into national languages (particularly when the results are destined to the public);
  • Long-term sustainability (of the website, databases, etc.);
  • Ensuring the link to policy;
  • The critical importance of the description of work (DoW);
  • Important of inter-connectedness between different WPs which may lead to timing issues;
  • Stronger focus on user needs;
  • The use of e-learning modules;
  • Importance of contingency plans and not underestimating the time needed for ethical approvals and other procedures.
  • Interconnectivity with other projects in the same area;
  • Uncertainty about the information can be shared (important info that ends up not being shared because of doubts about its confidentiality status).


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