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  • Periodic Report Summary 2 - MOBI4HEALTH (CENTRE OF MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR HEALTHY LIFEBiotech solutions bringing health to living organisms and environmentsupported by mass spec-focused research platform.)
FP7

MOBI4HEALTH Report Summary

Project ID: 316094
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Poland

Periodic Report Summary 2 - MOBI4HEALTH (CENTRE OF MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR HEALTHY LIFEBiotech solutions bringing health to living organisms and environmentsupported by mass spec-focused research platform.)

Project Context and Objectives:
MOBI4Health is an FP7 project funded by the European Commission. The project is intended to support the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdansk & Medical University of Gdansk (IFB) in its activities to boost research and innovation potential through establishing a Centre of Molecular Biotechnology for Healthy Life: MOBI4Health Centre. IFB, founded in 1993, is one of the top biological science faculties in Poland. Basic and applied research performed in its research units cover the areas of molecular biotechnology, biomedicine and environment protection. The project is in line with IFB’s strategy, which is to adapt the research potential and existing excellence of the IFB to the current and future needs of the human & environmental health sector and knowledge-based economy.

MOBI4Health Centre aims at achieving improved research capacity by:
− improving the level of knowledge and skills of the staff at IFB in order to significantly increase the research potential through employment of experienced scientists and experienced specialists for the new IFB mass spectrometry (MS) core facility;
− purchasing modern mass spectrometry equipment to ensure future cutting-edge research: state-of-the-art mass spectrometers and additional equipment as an input for the increase of research potential;
− achieving a significant increase of scientific expertise through intensified international cooperation with 10 leading European partners from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain as well as participation of our research staff in international and regional key events in order to improve the knowledge of their research area as well as to promote the MOBI4Health Centre and contribute to its’ integration with the scientific community; partner institutions are: University of Nottingham (UK), Phillips-University Marburg (Germany), Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (Spain), Federico II University of Naples (Italy), Georg-August-University Goettingen, (Germany), INSA Lyon (France), University of Konstanz (Germany), Agronomy & Environment Laboratory ENSAIA-INPL (France), Biomedical Research Institute FORTH (Greece) and INSERM U846 Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute (France);
− disseminating of skills acquired through twinning & networking and promotion of international knowledge exchange through activities such as several hands-on courses and workshops based on the newly established Mass-Spec Core Facility as well as two international conferences that will target also local/regional stakeholders in order to strengthen links with pharmaceutical companies, entrepreneurs, health professionals, policy-makers and media;
− implementing an IP & Innovation Strategy with the goal of enhancing the ability of research staff to commercialize research results ensuring proper IP protection and attracting industrial partners in the region, country and abroad for cooperation;
− establishing an International Steering Committee composed of representatives of the European partnering research institutions, world-wide experts in the topic areas of molecular biotechnology and mass spectrometry as well as members of the University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk that meets once a year in order to give their recommendations and advise the project team on the implementation of planned actions.

This action plan has been designed to ensure that MOBI4Health Centre can deliver sustainable innovative science based on advanced MS applications, future research interactions and long-lasting cooperation at regional and European level.



Project Results:
Increasing Human Potential (WP1)
As a result of the MOBI4Health actions, six experienced scientists and two mass spectrometry specialists have been selected in an open, world-wide competition and employed at IFB. The milestone No. 1 has been achieved. During the recruitment , attention was paid to The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, recommended by the European Commission. One position has been filled by a scientist from outside EU and three by scientists returning to Poland after a longer research period abroad. The employment of the scientists at IFB has been sustained for the next period, allowing them to further develop their research and apply for further funding.

Twinning (WP2)
Scientists from IFB visited research teams from the 10 European MOBI4Health partnering institutions. The visits have contributed to intensifying collaboration. The results were conducting research together with researchers from partner institution, discussing possibilities to continue joint research, joint grant writing, joint supervision of PhD students. In total, 16 visits of IFB scientists to partner institutions and 20 incoming visits by foreign researchers to IFB have been implemented. In addition, 24 participations of IFB staff in specialist research trainings, mainly in the area of mass spectrometry, have been implemented. In order to increase IFB’s visibility, 109 participations in scientific events in Poland, Europe and beyond took place.

Innovation Capacity Building (WP3)
The position of the IPICB Manager has been filled starting from October 2013 after preparation of requirements and advertising the vacancy in an open job competition. The IPICB Manager worked in a team with two more innovation specialists on issues arising at IFB. The preparation and update of IFB’s innovation and cooperation offer for external research partners and SMEs was based on mapping of 190 technology research offers within IFB and is now accessible as an online database. Moreover, direct contacts with companies and research institutions resulted in signing of a partnership agreement for Regional Smart Specialization involving nearly 100 institutions from the Pomorskie Region. The IFB cooperation offer has been presented during innovation-related events in Poland and abroad. An Innovation Strategy and an Exploitation Plan have been prepared in order to set a vision for IFB’s sustainable development. The milestones No. 3 and No. 4 have been achieved.

Equipment (WP4)
A state-of-the-art mass spectrometry laboratory has been established. The research equipment has been purchased on time and includes: MassARRAY® Analyser 4, MALDI-TOF/TOF 5800, QTRAP 6500, TripleTOF 5600+ as well as small additional equipment. The mass spec specialists have been trained on-site and the laboratory is fully operational. The milestone No. 2 has been achieved.

Conferences and Workshops (WP5)
We organised a MOBI4Health workshop at the international conference Bioinnovation & ScanBalt Forum 2013, and four international hands-on practical mass spectrometry workshops (2014 & 2015, over 370 participants). Moreover, two international conferences: Joint 7th Conference of the Polish Society for Experimental Plant Biology and the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG & MUG (2015) and Biotech Solutions for Health and Environment: MOBI4Health Conference & New IFB Building Opening (2016) with together over 430 participants were organised at IFB.

Visibility (WP6)
Dissemination and promotional activities have been performed in order to increase the visibility of the existing excellence and know-how of IFB. The project website has been launched at www.mobi4health.ug.edu.pl. Project information in form of articles, flyers, posters etc. has been published. Several events targeting different groups were organised. Social media and local traditional media (e.g. radio interviews) were tools used for dissemination. In order to increase visibility of research results, open access scientific publications by IFB staff in renown journals have been supported from the project.

Project management (WP7)
Project management has been successfully implemented. A project team has been established and ensured a smooth implementation of all activities. The Kick-off Meeting was organized as a collocated event with a MOBI4Health workshop at the international conference Bioinnovation & ScanBalt Forum 2013 (16-18.10.2013) in order to maximise the visibility of the project already at its start. The MOBI4Health International Steering Committee met three more times (24.05.2014, 6.07.2015, 13.04.2016) in order to discuss project progress and give recommendations on further actions.


Potential Impact:
The expected results of a successful implementation of the MOBI4Health project are an increased research quality at IFB and its integration with ERA, an upgraded infrastructure, a substantial increase in innovation capacity and an integration with international networks.
The output of increasing the research quality and recognition of IFB will be measured by submitted joint proposals with European partners and publishing in top-class international journals. Therefore, MOBI4Health activities focus on fostering joint research: opening to wider audience, hands-on courses, conferences, seminars and lectures as well as scientific exchange through secondments with partnering institutions. Knowledge acquired that way (WP2) will improve our experience and skills in the field of mass spec-based methods of proteins and genes analysis. Employment of experienced researchers (WP1), also incoming or returning to Poland, will ensure an improvement of the quality of research in the future. Involvement of top scientists from several European research institutions in conferences and workshops will lead to a higher recognition of IFB in the ERA (WP2).
A deeply upgraded research infrastructure at IFB will be attractive not only for research institutions but also for the industry in Poland and in Europe. The upgrade will be achieved by establishing a cutting-edge, complex Mass Spectrometry Core Facility, operated by recruited technologists (WP1) using quality management systems (WP4) and supported by the advice of the best European and world experts in the field (WP2, WP5). The research and technology development is one of the key components of capacity building in MOBI4Health Centre. New equipment (WP4) and laboratory standards in the established MS Core Facility will bring a quality change in cooperation with industry partners.
Actions will be taken to expand IFB’s innovation potential in order to increase cooperation between IFB and end-users, including SMEs, thus supporting the growth of knowledge-based economy. MOBI4Health will create excellent preconditions for entrepreneurship in biotech business through high level training, international experience, supporting spin-offs and cooperation with European partners.
Involving relevant regional or national authorities in the project (ISC members) will support the IFB staff in establishing of a long-term sustainability of MOBI4Health beyond the project’s lifetime. Recommendations from EC experts obtained during an external evaluation will support the planning of future activities (WP8). Synergies between measures proposed in the project and possible actions supported through the Cohesion Policy Programmes (ESIF) were identified. Biotechnology is a vital topic for the recently established Regional Smart Specialization Strategy on civilisation diseases and healthy aging. MOBI4Health Centre provides a strong basis for further projects, especially with business partners. Other local initiatives, such as the emerging Pomorskie Triple-helix of Knowledge, are signs of a strong intention to strengthen the knowledge-based economy in the region and are a possible way to try to ensure the sustainability of the MOBI4Health Centre as well as to contribute to the regional economic and social development of the local area.
An active participation of IFB in ScanBalt initiative will ensure a deep integration of all measures of MOBI4Health Centre into the overall EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. A strong partnership with ScanBalt by including representatives of ScanBalt into MOBI4Health and having IFB representatives within ScanBalt chairmanship will ensure a close linking of IFB to the current and future activities of ScanBalt Health Region.
As a result, the implementation of the MOBI4Health action plan will constitute a coherent set of measures to boost the research potential of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk to the level of other ERA actors.

List of Websites:
www.mobi4health.ug.edu.pl

Contact

Krzysztof Bielawski, (Head of the Laboratory for Molecular Diagnostics)
Tel.: +48585236314
Fax: +48585236426
E-mail
Record Number: 189270 / Last updated on: 2016-09-20