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Reinforcement of the Adult stem cell research are through Mobility and Scientific networking between Egypt, Romania and a German consortium for Strengthening the international scientific competency

Final Report Summary - RAMSES (Reinforcement of the Adult stem cell research are through Mobility and Scientific networking between Egypt, Romania and a German consortium for Strengthening the international scientific competency)

Executive Summary:

RAMSES comprises partner institutions from Germany (FMC), Romania (ICBP) (an EU convergence region) and Egypt (CU), in order to promote closer S&T cooperation opportunities between Europe and the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC). This constellation allowed for establishing close links between the European Research Area and MPC and contributed to the realization of the FP7 international dimension, not at least by favoring brain-gain environments. The main objective of RAMSES was to develop a partnership through twinning actions between the MPC partner and centers of excellence at FMC and ICBP. RAMSES accomplished this goal by improving scientific relationships, networking and development of the S&T Human Potential, exchanging of know-how and experience, as well as by upgrading the S&T research capacities in the Egyptian research facility.
RAMSES facilitated a robust scientific networking between basic stem cell researchers and clinicians from Egypt (MPC) and Europe through trans-national two-way exchanges of research staff between involved research entities and scientific events such as workshops and conferences, and complementary training events of scientific soft skills. The basic scientists provided clinicians with insights about new tools for use in patients and for assessment of their impact. Furthermore, clinical scientists were able to make novel observations about disease progression that could guide the research approaches undertaken by basic investigators. This way, novel research findings will be better correlated to advancements available in the clinical setting, and together will rapidly promote practical applications for the patients’ benefit.

An optimal dissemination and promotion of project activities has been undertaken to provide maximum support for management, dissemination and exploitation of project outcomes. Promotional activities increased RAMSES’ visibility to the international scientific community, interested stakeholders and the public.

An accompanying evaluation process ensured RAMSES´ implementation and assessed the impacts of all training activities.
Project Context and Objectives:
RAMSES facilitates a robust scientific networking between basic stem cell researchers and clinicians from Egypt (MPC) and Europe through scientific events and trans-national two-way exchanges of research staff between involved research entities. Bringing together three RTD partners, one from a central European country, one from an EU convergence region, and one Mediterranean Partner Country with highest ambitions and a strong potential, RAMSES develops and boosts research capacities and creates a strong network between participating institutions with a clear potential for sustainable high level cooperation in an internationally competitive field.

RAMSES’ objectives are mirrored in detail in the different RAMSES’ work packages (WPs). The objectives were achieved by five highly interlinked work packages and accompanied by a sixth work package “Consortium management & assessment of progress and results”.

Objective 1: Exchange of know-how and experience
Exchange of scientific know-how and experience during working visits is one of the main objectives of RAMSES. Therefore, this exchange of scientific know-how has been implemented primarily via trans-national two-way secondments of research staff between the participating institutions.

A secondment plan has been generated by WP1 during the first project period. The plan has been designed in a flexible way and has been revised to facilitate necessary adaptations for new recruited staff members. According to this plan scientists have been allocated to the best-suited partner institutions. Several junior and senior scientists from CU visited FMC and ICBP for training purposes as well for exchange of specific research settings.

Exchange of scientific know-how and experience through workshops and conferences has been accomplished by a kick-off conference in Cairo, several multiplier workshops in Cairo, 2 RAMSES annual international workshop in Cologne and Bucharest, as well as a final conference in Cairo in May 2013. Additionally, the organization of a workshop on applied cardiac development and morphology was supported in Amsterdam in June 2012. Knowledge exchange implementation has been further facilitated via various networking activities undertaken during the annual international workshops and the final conference in Cairo. During these events various junior scientists had the opportunity to get in contact with senior researchers from all participating institutions and to lay the basis for future joint collaborations. Furthermore, junior scientists had the opportunity to specify their interests and especially during the hands-on sessions in all workshops, they used the possibility to be taught practically in scientific methods.

Objective 1 has been achieved by collecting reports of scientists returned from scientific events and trans-national secondments of research. Through this objective, CU had the opportunity to develop partnerships with FMC and ICBP. RAMSES contributed directly to the increase of scientific competitiveness at the international level through the increase of competitiveness of participant laboratories, so that they will become more attractive for international partnerships and cooperation such as FP7 networks and RTD projects. As a result four joint publications have been successfully submitted and several national and international grant proposals have been generated.

Objective 2: Reinforcement of human resources and infrastructures
Recruitment of incoming experienced scientists for teaching, training and joint research activities, as well as local young scientists has been be performed in order to reinforce the human potential of CU.

New team members (several PhD, MSc or MD students; senior scientists and technicians) have been mostly recruited during workshops in Cairo. A part of those new members have been allocated for secondments to FMC and IBCP for training purposes. Thereby, 12 studies in total (already finished and currently ongoing) have been realized under the scope of PhD, MSc or MD theses. In addition collaborations with researchers from other departments of the Cairo University as well as two research positions at the ICBP have been established.

Facilitation of acquisition, maintenance, upgrading and renewal of S&T research equipment as well as purchasing of research consumables and extension of the existing laboratory spaces for CU have supported directly the development of the international R&D activity in the biomedical field. That offered opportunities for new research directions in accordance to international tendencies and promoted CU integration in the international research area. The during the RAMSES project established ‘Stem Cell Unit’ laboratory, which can be considered as the first laboratory only dedicated for research at the CU, has been expanded and rearranged. The section for tissue culture has been isolated from other laboratory sections to achieve a sterile environment for optimal stem cell culture implementation. The remaining laboratory space has been rearranged for new equipment and optimal working conditions.

An important objective of the project was to support the development of a modern research infrastructure in stem cell and cardiovascular research fields at the MPC research entity. This aim has been achieved by means of upgrading the pre-existing equipment and acquisition of new high-tech equipment necessary for CU to facilitate the realization of sophisticated research projects and to enhance the competitive capacity of CU within the international research community. Therefore, new essential laboratory equipment has been purchased including i.e. sterile workbenches, centrifuges, a flow-cytometer, a CO2 incubator, an inverted light microscope and two nitrogen tanks for cryopreservation. Additionally, required research consumables for cell culture, stem cell characterization, molecular biology and immunocytochemistry have been purchased.

Objectives 2 has been achieved and verified and measured by the list of hired personnel and newly purchased equipment, as well as through its capacity building activities such as recruitment of personnel, acquisition of consumables and equipments, and extension of laboratory space.


Objective 3: Workshops, conferences and training events for knowledge sharing network building
Organization of multiplier and annual international workshops as well as a kick-off and a final conference have been performed in order to facilitate knowledge transfer at national and international level involving both the selected research entities' own research staff and invited researchers, from other countries in the frame of the development of the selected research entities' international training capacity and reputation.

Several multiplier workshops have been arranged in Cairo. The practical sessions were mostly taught by CU members who had previously participated in secondments to FMC or ICBP demonstrating the successful implementation of the “training for trainers” principle within the framework of RAMSES. The organization of the 2nd ‘Applied cardiac development and morphology workshop’ in Amsterdam in June 2012 was supported and thereby CU participants have been offered the opportunity for international scientific networking activities. An annual international workshop has been organized by FMC in Cologne May 2011 and by the ICBP in Bucharest in September 2012. A kick-off conference (June 2010) and a final conference (May 2013), both including hands-on sessions, were organized in Cairo, Egypt. Additionally, scientists from CU participated in several external and specialized workshops to gain practical knowledge of sophisticated and modern research techniques.

Objective 3 has been achieved by organization of scientific events and verified and measured by collecting reports of these. Through this objective, RAMSES has improved scientific relationships, networking and development of the S&T human potential of CU.

Objective 4: Dissemination and promotional activities to ensure increased visibility of the involved research entities and their activities
A strategy of dissemination and promotion of project activities has been implemented to provide maximum support for management, dissemination and exploitation of project outcomes.

The definition and implementation of an efficient dissemination strategy, characterized by dissemination activities tailored to the target groups like stem cell researchers, clinicians in particular in the cardiovascular field, the scientific community, and the general public had safeguarded the successful realization of this objective. Promotional activities increased RAMSES’ visibility to the international scientific community, interested stakeholders and the public.

Dissemination and promotional activities focused mainly on dissemination of project outcomes and promotional activities to advertise RAMSES´ training events. This led to stimulation of exchanges with the scientific community via participation to project internal and external events, scientific conferences, workshops etc.

Even if RAMSES aims at stimulating the realization of full research potential by training activities geared towards unlocking and developing existing or emerging excellence, as well as helping to strengthen the capacities of their researchers, RAMSES also explored the possibility to exploit project outcomes. Therefore a SWOT analysis has been implemented and the identification of strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats had been revisited during the project allowing for early identification of problems, trouble-shooting and best-suited contingency planning. Promotional activities increased RAMSES’ visibility to the international scientific community, interested stakeholders and the public via different means like RAMSES website, flyers and brochures of planned workshops, and the 2 RAMSES conferences that took place.

Objective 4 has been achieved and verified and measured by the active dissemination of project outcomes and a number of promotional activities. Through this objective, the CU and its partner’s visibility at the level of scientific community and general public increased significantly.

Objective 5: Evaluation of RAMSES activities and outcomes
An Evaluation process ensured RAMSES´ implementation and assessed the impacts of all training activities. The baseline status regarding level of knowledge and skills as well as the available equipment and laboratory capacities of the partner institutions have been evaluated to facilitate the organization of secondments and the identification of vital requirements for reinforcement of CU’s research capacities.
During the course of the project, an intermediate Evaluation has been carried out to assess the quality of scientific knowledge exchange by the arranged scientific events (secondments, workshops and conferences). Therefore, the RAMSES Evaluation Committee’ requested specifically designed Evaluation questionnaires addressing criteria regarding the newly acquired research methods, the quality of dissemination of scientific knowledge during the events and the trainee’s satisfaction with these events. The obtained results have been compared with the baseline status.

The evaluation process focused mainly on the CU to assess the impact of knowledge exchange on the Egyptian partner. The quality and quantity of upgraded equipment of CU was further assessed. The implementation of the intermediate Evaluation has been served for identification of potential weaknesses and adequate countermeasures. Moreover, it has been facilitated the identification of potential trainers of the CU for the implemented ‘Multiplier’ workshops.

At the end of the project, a final evaluation has been performed to assess the overall training success of RAMSES. Therefore, all trainees were requested to report on their level of knowledge and skills over a wide range of scientific methods (e.g. cell culture techniques, microscopy, histochemistry and flow-cytometry) through specific ‘trainee’s evaluation’ sheets at the beginning of their participation in RAMSES and at the project end. Moreover, an Evaluation of the Advisory Board on ethical requirements has been carried out to assess all encountered ethical related aspects during the project.

Objective 5 has been be achieved and verified and measured by results of the evaluation questionnaires. Through this objective, the implementation of RAMSES actions was supported and potential redirections could be adequately applied.

Project Results:
The main objective of RAMSES was to set the basis for a scientific knowledge-sharing network between the participant countries, from which a positive impact on the international stem cell research scientific community is expected. Exchange of scientific know-how and experience was the core of RAMSES. Therefore, this exchange of scientific know-how has been implemented primarily via trans-national two-way secondments of research staff between selected entities. Its implementation has been further facilitated via various networking activities undertaken during scientific events such as conferences and workshops. WP1 was highly interlinked with WP2, WP3 and WP5. Whereas mentioned WPs has been dealt with the respective events and activities itself, WP1 concentrated on the exchange of basic and advanced research knowhow and experience.


Exchange of scientific know-how and experience during working visits (WP1) was one of the main objectives of RAMSES. Therefore, this exchange of scientific know-how has been implemented primarily via trans-national two-way secondments of research staff between the participating institutions.
In a first step a secondment plan has been generated by WP1. However, with respect to new recruited staff members, the secondment plan was adapted to fit flexibly the actual situation. According to this plan scientists have been allocated to the best–suited partner institutions. Several junior and senior scientists from CU have visited FMC and ICBP for training purposes as well for exchange of specific research settings.

Several secondments of junior scientists from CU to FMC, as well as from CU to ICBP were realized. During these secondments scientific methods (listed below) were addressed according to the described tasks in WP1. Additionally, all junior scientists were invited to scientific discussions during lab meetings, regular journal club meetings and similar events.

During the project, senior scientists of CU have visited ICBP and FMC for exchange of specific research settings. That was accompanied by secondments of senior scientists from ICBP to FMC and vice versa focusing on execution of joint projects and planning of future collaborations. These visits intensified the cooperation between the participating institutions and facilitated the development of fruitful future joint projects based on face-to-face scientific discussions.

Altogether, 10 secondments (6 juniors and 4 seniors) and 7 secondments (4 juniors and 3 seniors) of Egyptian scientists to FMC and ICBP, respectively, were realized during the course of RAMSES. Furthermore ICBP send 3 junior scientists and 1 senior scientist to FMC for scientific knowledge exchange and implementation of joint projects. For identification of potential future collaborations and exchange of specific research settings, 3 senior scientists from FMC visited ICBP at the beginning of the project.

Exchanged scientific knowledge during the secondments involved specific research settings, such as: Adult and induced pluripotent stem cell culture and characterization methods, cell and tissue cryopreservation techniques, molecular biology, flow cytometry, lipidomics, protein analysis techniques, immunohistochemistry, regenerative medicine, in vitro and in vivo transplantation models, electron and fluorescence microscopy, and cell pathology and inflammation. A particular focus was on hand-on opportunities for the junior scientists supervised by experienced senior scientists from the host institutions.


Another important objective of RAMSES was to increase the research quality, competitiveness, and visibility of the Egyptian research entity (CU) (WP2). This has been assured by recruitment by CU of incoming experienced scientists, including as a means to particularly encourage the return of nationals having left the country, for teaching, training and joint research activities, and by hiring of new young scientists to reinforce the human potential of the Egyptian partner institute. Furthermore, purchasing consumables and new equipments, upgrading the existing equipments rearranging the existing laboratories, and creating new laboratory space has supported new research.


Recruitment of more personnel in Cairo has been made during workshops and conferences while explaining objectives and tasks of the project. Physicians and scientists involved in the project who are interested and already experienced in stem cell culture were assigned as supervisors for the PhD, MSc and MD students. Students have been setting up their research in the assigned ‘Stem Cell Unit’ laboratory of the project. Studies already finished and currently going on in CU’s laboratory are as follows:

• Phd thesis: Study of the immuno modulatory effect of cord blood derived stem cells on T lymphocytes.
• Phd thesis: Effect of cryopreservation on telomerase activity of stem cells.
• MSc thesis: Angiogenesis in rat ischemic hindlimb: role of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells transplantation.
• MSc thesis: Isolation characterization and differentiation of cord blood derived MScs.
• Also candidates involved in collaboration research studies with the Theodor Bilharz Institute (externals): MSc thesis: Isolation, expansion and characterization of MSCs; Msc thesis: Factors influencing propagation of cultured cord blood derived MSCs.
• MD thesis: Differentiation of MSCs to hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo in an animal model of carbon tetrachloride induced fibrosis.
• MD thesis: Detection of BCR/ ABL translocation in BM derived MSCs in CML patients, a research in collaboration with the national research institute.
• MD thesis: Isolation & characterization of MSCs derived from Amniotic membrane.
• MD thesis: Cardiomyocyte differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells.
• MD thesis: The differentiation potential of human cord blood derived MSCs into functional hepatocyte like cells on Nanofibrous scaffold.
• MD thesis: Chronic granulomatous disease: detection of defective proteins.
• A collaboration with a team of clinical pathology researchers in Cairo University on cancer stem cells (leukemias) as well as a collaboration with OBGYN department in research of ovarian & endometrial stem cells were established.

Altogether, the initial CU RAMSES team consisting of 4 senior scientists has been reinforced by 12 newly recruited staff members (3 senior scientists, 7 junior scientists and 2 technicians) as well as by several MD students during the course of the project.

The during the RAMSES project established ‘Stem Cell Unit’ laboratory, which can be considered as the first laboratory only dedicated for research at the CU, has been expanded and rearranged to support directly the development of the international R&D activity in the biomedical field by the CU. That offered opportunities for new research directions in accordance to international tendencies and promoted CU integration in the international research area. The section for tissue culture has been isolated from other laboratory sections to achieve a sterile environment for optimal stem cell culture implementation. The remaining laboratory space has been rearranged for new equipment and optimal working conditions. Desks had been installed preparing for the purchase of a new computer and other devices. Further necessarily required and essential laboratory equipments were purchased over tendering. Thereby the laboratory has been equipped with sterile laminar flow workbenches, a cooling centrifuge, a state-of-the-art flow cytometer, a new CO2 incubator, a refrigerator for proper storage of reagents, a UV air sterilizer, a bright field inverted microscope with fluorescence attachment, a small water bath to warm cell culture media, automatic pipettes, and two liquid nitrogen tanks for cryopreservation.

Required consumables for appropriated performance of modern research experiments were purchased according to regulations of Cairo University. These included cell culture media and supplemental reagents (e.g. growth factors), enzymes, monoclonal antibodies for flow-cytometry and immunohistochemistry, ELIZA kits, molecular biology reagents for PCR, and separation beads for cell separation techniques (MACS). Additionally, sterile plastic ware (cell culture dishes, pipettes, flasks, tubes, tips) and specific glass ware were purchased.


Workshops, conferences and training events for knowledge sharing network building (WP3) have been performed in order to facilitate knowledge transfer at national and international level involving both the selected research entities' own research staff and invited researchers, from other countries in the frame of the development of the selected research entities' international training capacity and reputation

A RAMSES kick-off conference under the agenda ‘Stem Cells from Bench to Heart’ in Cairo in May 2010 initiated the project on a grand scale and presented the RAMSES concept to the scientific community and familiarized the participants with new trends in stem cell research, particularly their potential use for heart therapies.

Several multiplier workshops were organized in Cairo to reinforce further the objectives of RAMSES during the project. The workshops based on the ‘training for trainers’ principle, meaning that practical sessions were mostly taught by CU members who had previously participated in secondments to FMC or ICBP to allow distribution of newly gained practical and theoretical knowledge among the whole CU team.

The 1st multiplier workshop was held in May 2011 and addressed topics regarding basic knowledge about adult and pluripotent stem cells, stem cell culture techniques, flow cytometry, and cell sorting methods. Altogether, 35 persons attended to the event.

The 2nd multiplier workshop in February 2012 was attended by 19 participants. The lectures and hands-on sessions focused on mesenchymal stem cells techniques including their isolation, culture and differentiation.

A 3rd multiplier workshop was held in Cairo in May 2012 addressing mainly flow cytometry. It was attended by 30 persons from Cairo University, Theodor Bilharz Institute and National research center and the attendees were introduced to the very crucial technology of flow cytometry which is of great importance in stem cell research. The topic choice was in accordance with the acquirement of a new flow cytometer by the CU and the handling of that device was emphasized.

A 4th multiplier workshop was held in September 2012 addressing nucleotransfection techniques of stem cells from different sources. It was attended by 18 scientists from Cairo University, 15 clinical pathologists, a biologist, a chemist and a lab technician.

These workshops aroused motivation and interest by young clinical pathologists, clinicians and cardiologists to be involved in modern stem cell research. Following the multiplier workshops, more personnel were recruited and research studies were conducted in the domain of stem cell research under the scope of PhD or MSc theses.

The knowledge exchange by workshops has been further facilitated by 2 annual international workshops at the FMC and IBCP.

A hands-on and advanced workshop was organized by the FMC in Cologne in May 2011. It comprised presentations of actual developments in stem cell research and recent results of stem cell related research projects as well as hands-on sessions about cyroslicing and immunohistochemistry, PCR and real time PCR techniques, FACS technology, and Plasmid cloning. Altogether, 38 persons from all three partner institutions participated in the event.

In September 2012 an annual workshop held in Bucharest by ICBP was attended by all RAMSES partners: 6 participants from FMC, 6 participants from CU, 46 participants from ICBP in addition to 4 international speakers. Theoretical presentations addressed mainly the applicability of adult and pluripotent stem cells for cardiovascular regeneration and cardiac repair. Noteworthy, RAMSES scientists from the CU presented their first results from own conducted research projects obtained during the course of the project. Additional hands-on sessions mediated practical knowledge about tissue and cell processing for histochemistry and electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, advanced flow cytometry techniques, and advanced molecular biology methods


Besides the transfer of scientific knowledge at national and international level involving both the selected research entities' own research staff and invited researchers from other countries, both annual international workshops created opportunities for networking activities and facilitated the development of the selected research entities' international training capacity and reputation.
Furthermore, CU senior scientists have participated in external workshops, which mediated deeper practical knowledge into stem cell culture and characterization as well as flow cytometry approaches. The ‘2nd Clinically applied cardiac development and morphology‘ workshop under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Antoon Moorman was co-organized by the RAMSES project. It was held at the Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands on 4th and 5th June 2012. As the event focused on heart development and related clinical topics, the participating RAMSES members could gain extended insights useful for cardiac differentiation of stem cells and identification of potential cardiac therapy targets. In addition 6 CU scientists used the opportunity to be introduced to the latest updates in clinical applications for stem cell technologies during their participation in the 7th Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium in Leipzig in November 2012.

The final RAMSES conference was held in Marriott hotel in Zamalek, Cairo from the 7th to the 9th of May 2013. The event was a conjoint meeting organized as a collaboration between RAMSES project and the pediatric cardiology department in Cairo University. The conference was a large event attended by 428 persons from different specialties. The project partners from Germany and Romania had strongly participated in the event. In addition the Egyptian team members had presented their accomplished research work over the course of the project and the outcomes of RAMSES.


Dissemination and promotional activities (WP4) prepared the grounds for an optimal dissemination and promotion of project activities and to provide maximum support for management, dissemination and exploitation of project outcomes. Furthermore, coordination of project internal and external communication has been an integral part of RAMSES. These aims have been achieved by the definition and implementation of an efficient dissemination strategy, characterized by dissemination activities tailored to the target groups like stem cell scientists, clinicians in particular in the cardiovascular field, the scientific community, interested stakeholders, and the general public.

All consortium members were fully aware of general EC rules and regulations concerning Intellectual Property, and were familiar with the project-specific regulations as laid out in detail in the consortium agreement. The main focus was on a transparent dissemination strategy, which summarizes all targeted dissemination and exploitation activities in the Plan for the Use and Dissemination of Foreground (PUDF) was defined and implemented. After identification of most efficient and appropriate channels for dissemination (scientific community, clinicians and general public), advertisement of RAMSES’ activities was accomplished through the following means:

i) Public area on the RAMSES website;
ii) Flyers and brochures of workshops;
iii) Press releases and presentations (talks and posters) in conferences;
iv) RAMSES ‘kick-off’ and ‘final’ conferences

The RAMSES project website were set up and enabled the project dissemination activities to reach a broad audience. The website comprised additionally an internal communication and reporting platform, which facilitated the communication and file-sharing between the partner institutions. A corporate identity dissemination toolkit to support RAMSES´ public visibility has been developed and templates for project presentations, reports and deliverables were created and made available on the internal project website. In addition to the website, press releases, talks on conferences and poster presentations provided a very high visibility of the project among the scientific community.

Foreground generated was published in different scientific articles, following Article II.30 of the Grant Agreement and in line with the RAMSES Consortium Agreement. A detailed listing has been created containing all publications including references to full abstracts and other dissemination means such as workshops and exhibitions where the project was presented or RAMSES researchers were present.

As exploitation was a central issue in the project, a SWOT analysis evaluating Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats was prepared by the coordinator, in close cooperation with the European Research and Project Office GmbH during the first half of the project and revised at the end of the project. The analysis involved specifying the main objectives of the project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving these objectives.


An evaluation process (WP5) undertaken by the RAMSES Evaluation Committee has accompanied the project from its beginning:

(i) In a first step, evaluation questionnaires have been created and the status quo of all participating institutions in respect of existing equipment, basic research methods, scientific knowledge and experience of scientists and technicians have been acquired. These data has been added to the information already collected during the project planning to subsequently build a carefully elaborated secondment plan. According to this plan, scientists have been allocated to specific laboratories within the participating institutions to undergo the best-suited research training (see WP1).

(ii) During project development, the ongoing ‘intermediate’ evaluation process assessed the impacts of all training activities, including the two-way secondments, and workshops on the achievement of project objectives, and the satisfaction of the targeted scientists with the training program. Furthermore, weaknesses of the project could be identified and the best-suited measures implemented.

(iii) At the end of the project, all participants have been required to appraise the project in a final questionnaire to analyse the impact on knowledge and skill transfer during the project.

On a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being excellent, trainees’ “intermediate” and “final” theoretical knowledge and/or practical skills were rated by using specially designed Trainees’ Evaluation questionnaires. The continuous analysis of skill development facilitated the identification of trainees who gained a high level of knowledge to take over a multiplier function by presenting their newly acquired skills to coworkers within “Multiplier” workshops (WP3) and by training the coworkers in the vital laboratory skills.

In addition, all trainees filled in Training Evaluation questionnaires addressing their satisfaction with the training received, after participating to training sessions within secondments of research and scientific events such as Annual international workshops (in Cologne, Germany and in Bucharest, Romania), multiplier workshops (held in Cairo, Egypt), and conferences (Kick-off and Final RAMSES Conferences in Cairo, Egypt). The questionnaires were accompanied by self-written brief reports on the individual events, allowing insights into the personal impressions of the participants.

During the course of the project, the Intermediate Evaluation process was undertaken to assess the impacts of all training activities, including the two-way secondments of research and participation to scientific events, on the achievement of project objectives, and the satisfaction of the targeted scientists with the training program. Weaknesses of the project could therefore be identified early and the best-suited measures were implemented accordingly when necessary.

At the end of the project, all participants appraised the project in Final Evaluation questionnaires. The Final Evaluation assessed the achieved impacts of acquired scientific knowledge, skills, and equipments, as well as the quality and timing of training on the trainees’ accomplishments and satisfaction, with a focus on the Egyptian partner. Furthermore, an Evaluation of the Advisory Board on ethical requirements was performed in order to assess all ethical related aspects encountered during the project development as the political situation in Egypt was very difficult during the project development.

Overall, a positive impact has been detected regarding the increase of scientific knowledge of the CU RAMSES members and the upgrade of CU RAMSES research facility. The feedbacks on the organized scientific events were very positive in general. Moreover, comments of participants helped to improve the organization of such events, e.g. dividing the participants into groups for hands-on sessions to allow more practical work for them.


The task of the Consortium management (WP6) was to implement strong management structures in order to safeguard optimal administrative, financial, contractual and technical management. This implies progress
control of each work package, co-ordination of the different project activities and implementation of quality control mechanisms by establishing and monitoring appropriate project standards.

During the Kick-off meeting in Cairo on March 13, 2010, all management issues of RAMSES were clarified. One important decision was made concerning the site of the lab facility in Cairo and the rights and responsibility of the clinicians in this facility. This turned out to be very important to warrant the success of the reinforcement of the students and scientists resources and educational progress.

Coordination meetings of the consortium were then repeated in a six months fashion (second at the Kick-Off Conference in Cairo, third at the occasion of the Satellite Conference and workshops in Cologne, fourth in Bucharest, and fifth at the final meeting in Cologne) and focused mainly on decision making regarding coordination and risk management. The coordination meetings were prepared and documented by the responsible persons in the project. Telephone and e-mail communication was an additional management requisite for decision making during the course of the project.

A project website accessible for all involved participants was immediately established in order to allow transparency and 24/7 availability for all planned activities. www.project-ramses.eu has been a great success so far as it is not only a web tool for advertisement of the activities but moreover an element for steering and control. The intranet offered the possibility for documentation of all WP activities.

The first official scientific and financial report covering Mo 1-18 of the project was compiled and submitted to the EC in October 2011 via the EC reporting tools SESAM and FORCE.

Due to the revolution in Egypt a delay in decision making and acquisition in Cairo was inevitable. Additional problems occurred due to delayed offers in hardware for the lab, which was only in part explained by changes due to the revolution. To respond to the problems which have been arisen from the political situation in Egypt, a contract amendment was initiated in January 2013 and finalized and accepted by the EC in February 2013. The coordinator and the consortium asked for a cost-neutral project extension of 6 months to complete the tasks as foreseen in the work plan. The stepwise stabilization of the political situation in Cairo enabled the Egyptian team to accomplish the necessary missing duties. Therefore, financial coordination and contractual commitment problems could be solved. The Egpyptian revolution was considered as the greatest risk to the project and led to a retardation of CU activities. Nevertheless activities have been continued with only minor delays and could finally be achieved within the project extension.

Potential Impact:
RAMSES has built a knowledge-sharing network through workshops, international conferences and short-term working visits. Dissemination and promotional activities during scientific events increases the visibility of the selected research entities at the level of the international scientific community.
RAMSES has set up sustainable partnerships between the participating institutions. This leads to the development of strong scientific partners for FMC in the next future. On a medium and long term run, the development of partnerships through twinning actions between CU and the centers of excellence in Europe will contribute to the increase of scientific competitiveness at the international level through the increase of competitiveness of participant laboratories, so that they will become more attractive for international partnerships and cooperation. These will promote participations to joint international research projects, leading to generation of publications in peer-reviewed journals.
RAMSES has a strong impact on the reinforcement of the international scientific community by fortifying the human potential of CU through training of Egyptian scientists at cutting-edge standards during short stays in EU Centers of Excellence and through recruitment of incoming experienced researchers and local junior researchers in CU.
RAMSES established networking conditions that allows ICBP to realize its full research potential. This contributes to regional development, while taking advantage of the knowledge and experience existing in other regions of Europe. Hence, this action will help to fully realize the European Research Area within the enlarged Union.
RAMSES boosts the RTD capacity of CU in terms of S&T policy and research programs, scientific and technical human resources and S&T infrastructures. The number and the quality of CU results and publications have been increased through the improvement of the research methodology in the field of stem cell and cardiovascular research. Four joint peer-reviewed papers have been already published within the scope of RAMSES. This raises the visibility of the participating institutions in the international biomedical field and will also improve further participation of the CU in the FP7 networks and RTD projects.
RAMSES promoted S&T development of CU aiming at durable collaborations, such as strategic partnerships, enabling the selected research entities to realize their full potential. This highlights the participating institutions’ scientific excellence and visibility in both the European and International Research Area, increasing their contribution to regional sustainable development and employment growth.
RAMSES facilitated the endowment of CU with a competitive human resource pool and modern research infrastructures. This improved its scientific relationships and networking, and promotes its successful participation in further RTD Framework Programs. The socio-economical positive effect is achieved through development of S&T Human Potential; hiring unemployed people leads to the reduction of costs with their social assistance. The modernized CU will have the ability to further attract more investments and to contribute to national, regional and international economic development. It will therefore have a global impact on research, education and innovation.

List of Websites:

http://project-ramses.eu/