Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

InnovaBalt Report Summary

Project ID: 316149
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Latvia

Periodic Report Summary 2 - INNOVABALT (Strengthening the research and innovation capacities of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, the leading Baltic regional centre for drug discovery)

Project Context and Objectives:
The Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), a target driven research institution that combines excellence in science with expertise in preclinical investigations of novel innovative drug discovery, has developed its flagship project of the 7th Framework Programme – InnovaBalt: „Strengthening the research and innovative capacities of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, the leading Baltic regional centre for drug discovery”. The beginning of the InnovaBalt project signalled a huge step forward for the LIOS. The project began in 2013 and its general goal being to strengthen the multidisciplinary research capacities, management of intellectual property as well as human resources in the innovative drug discovery at LIOS.
InnovaBalt project defined the following objectives:
1. Establishing of the long-lasting scientific collaboration and strategic partnerships between LIOS and 50 outstanding research institutions to increase the visibility of LIOS in the European Research Area (ERA);
2. Upgrading the research infrastructure and improvement of qualification of human resources at LIOS in the fields of modern process chemistry, green chemistry, biophysical chemistry, in silico drug discovery and advanced forms for drug delivery to promote the capacity for high-level research on innovative drug development;
3. Increasing the LIOS research capacity and experience in new drug discovery directions by recruitment of experienced researchers and post-doctoral researchers;
4. Ensuring the synergy between research on innovative drug development and end-users to meet the socio-economic needs of Baltic region.

Project Results:
During the second period of the InnovaBalt 63 outgoing visits to 23 partnering, training and networking institutions have been implemented. Outgoing visits have improved the expertise of LIOS researchers in organic synthesis methods development for drug discovery, knowledge in biophysical chemistry and pharmacological characteristics and in research and innovation management. The results obtained during these visits have been published in 15 joint research articles.
In its turn, LIOS has hosted 55 visitors from partnering and networking organizations.
During these visits outstanding researchers from the InnovaBalt partnering institutions have delivered lecture courses, participated in the conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings. The incoming researchers have assessed the work performed in LIOS and have given the recommendations for the further development. In the meetings the possibilities for further collaboration ideas for new joint proposals have been discussed.

In line with the strategic research directions in LIOS, the InnovaBalt project supported recruitment of 12 experienced and 7 post-doctoral recruited researchers were engaged. Their work has thus far resulted in 25 scientific publications and 2 patent applications.
The equipment acquired in the first period of the InnovaBalt has been intensively used and upgraded.
In the second period of the InnovaBalt 12 international events have been organised.
- Seminar series on methodology included:
Seminar „ Molecular Modeling in Drug Discovery”, June 5, 2015,
Seminar „Biophysical methods in drug discovery”, September 22, 2015,
Seminar „Protein production techniques”, April 21, 2016.
Seminar „Solid State NMR workshop”, July 11-14, 2016,
Seminar „International Electrosynthesis Workshop”, August 25-26, 2016.
- Paul Walden 9th Symposium on organic chemistry, May 21-22, 2015,
(110 participants from 7 countries). The main topics of the conference included stereoselective organic synthesis, natural products and heterocycles for medicinal chemistry.
- Drug Discovery Conference, August 27-29, 2015, was the central event in the InnovaBalt project (http://innovabalt.eu/?zina=22), in which 311 researchers from 25 countries participated. Presentations were delivered by 69 lecturers (42 lecturers were from abroad). Conference covered topics starting from organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry to biological and pharmacological applications. Session for the stakeholders in the form of round table discussion was organized during the conference program.
- Workshop „Competitive development of project ideas, writing of project proposals and implementation of projects within the EU science and innovation programme Horizon2020”. Invited lecturers: Frank Graage and Mareike Weingärtner from Steinbeis Team Northeast, Germany, October 6-7, 2015.
- Workshop on Intellectual Property rights “Knowledge to innovation”, April 27-28, 2016.
10. International conference on organic and medicinal chemistry dedicated to Professor GUSTAVS VANAGS 125 years anniversary, May 16-17, 2016 (100 participants from 10 countries).
- Pre-BOS meeting „Inflammation and cancer: Chemistry – biology interface”, June 30-July 1, 2016.
- conference Balticum Organicum Syntheticum (BOS-2016), July 3-6, 2016,
in which 315 researchers from 25 countries participated.
Involvement of industry partners in the organized events has provided the grounds for effective industry-academia collaboration and active knowledge-transfer process.
During the second period of the InnovaBalt project researchers from LIOS have participated in 29 international conferences, 8 information days or other events organized by the European Commission and 3 consortium building meetings.
The dissemination and communication of the InnovaBalt activities and results was regularly implemented. To provide the information about LIOS to researchers and wider society the article „Innovative drug development in the Baltic region” was published in the journal „International Innovation”, December 15, 2015:
http://www.internationalinnovation.com/multidisciplinary-activity-latvia-beyond
The virtual tour created in the frame of the InnovaBalt project (http://www.osi.lv/en/) gives an excellent insight about research facilities of LIOS and helps promoting its capacities in the ERA.

Potential Impact:
Recruited researchers, upgraded scientific equipment and trainings of staff have increased the research capacities and capabilities of LIOS. Since the beginning of Horizon 2020 LIOS researchers have submitted 20 proposals, from the evaluated 18 proposals 3 have been funded and 15 are above respective thresholds. In 2016 implementation of 2 Horizon 2020 projects have been started:
BATcure: Developing new therapies for Batten disease (contract Nr.666918, funding for LIOS - 399 625 EUR),
PELICO - Peptidomimetics with Photocontrolled Biological Activity (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Project, contract number: 690973, funding for LIOS - 103 500 EUR).
Dr.Kristaps Jaudzems has been awarded the M.Curie fellowship “Development of high field DNP-enhanced MAS NMR techniques for structure determination of viral capsids” (Virus-DNP-NMR, contract number: 661175) in collaboration with the InnovaBalt strategic partner Centre de RMN à Très Hauts Champs, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France.
In addition to Horizon 2020 projects LIOS has started the implementation of 3 ERA-NET projects:
CnsAflame - Neuroinflammatory mechanisms of chronic neurodegeneration and cognitive decline following traumatic brain injury (ERA-NET NEURON),
INinRAGI: Screening and developing of a novel family of natural and synthetic HIV Integrase inhibitors which do not interfere with V(D)J recombination (ERA-NET HIVERA),
DNA PARYLATION: Study of the new post-replicational modification of DNA by Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases and its implication for anticancer therapy (ERA-NET RUS Plus).
Together with the InnovaBalt strategic partner, the Vilnius University (Lithuania), the implementation of project „Design of anticancer pharmaceutical compounds using structure and energetics of lead – target interactions” has been started (Project funded by mutual funds from Taiwan-Latvia-Lithuania).
Increased visibility of LIOS has been reached through the regular participation and exploitation of research results in the international conferences and by the organization of international events in Latvia. Manager of InnovaBalt, Professor Maija Dambrova, presented experience and results of the InnovaBalt Project in 3 European events:
- the Workshop during WIRE 2015 „Week of Innovations regions in Europe”, Riga, 3.06. 2015 (Latvia’s Presidency event),
- the Workshop „Contribution of "Research Potential" (REGPOT) and "Regions of Knowledge" (ROK), the way forward thanks to synergies between EU policies/funds”, Brussels , 07.12.2015.,
- Conference “Bridging the Divide in European Health Research and Innovation”, Brussels, 20.10.2016.

The InnovaBalt project contributed to the regional economical development through strehgthening tight collaboration with industry and innovative drug discovery projects in LIOS. The InnovaBalt project activities are expected to have long-term social and economic impacts in relation to transformation of the national economy and growth priorities defined in the Latvian Smart Specialization Strategy, especially in RIS3 area of specialization: 2. biomedicine, medical technologies, biopharmacy and biotechnologies.
Website: www.innovabalt.eu

List of Websites:
www.innovabalt.eu

Contact

Dace Karkle, (Deputy director)
Tel.: +37167014803
E-mail
Record Number: 192368 / Last updated on: 2016-12-15