Kicking off ARIB, a Czech-German research alliance

Advanced Research Incubator in Biosciences for cross-boarder research excellence

Left to right – Marketa Morska, ARIB project manager, IMG; Libor Danek, ARIB project manager, IMG; Jussi Helppi, head of Biomedical services, MPI-CBG; Meri Alberich-Jorda, head of Haematooncology Lab, IMG; Radislav Sedlacek – ARIB coordinator, IMG; Pavel Vopalensky, ARIB project manager, MPI-CBG; Vladimir Korinek – IMG deputy director; Pavel Tomancak; ARIB deputy coordinator, MPI-CBG; Birgit Knepper, head of Grant office, MPI-CBG; Gene Myers, MPI-CBG managing director; Petr Draber, IMG director; Ivan Baines, MPI-CBG COO; Ira Illgen, grants manager, MPI-CBG; David Stanek, head of Lab of RNA Biology, IMG; Wieland Huttner, MPI-CBG director

In May 2017, the European Commission approved funding for Advanced Research Incubator in Biosciences (ARIB) project in Prague, Czech Republic in the scope of the funding program “Teaming for Excellence”, which is part of the Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme. ARIB aims at deepening the already existing collaboration between the Institute of Molecular Genetics (IMG) of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden and lifting the quality of research and impact of the research outputs.

This September, the ARIB project team met in Dresden for the first time and discussed the strategy for building up the new research incubator within the IMG. Initially, funding of approximately 400,000 EUR has been granted for the project in order to prepare a business plan for realization of the project’s vision. If the proposal succeeds in the next round of competition, ARIB will be implemented in the coming years with a funding of 15 to 20 million EUR from the EU and matching funds from the Czech government. 

Under the “Teaming for Excellence“ call, the IMG and the MPI-CBG will cooperate towards upgrading IMG to an internationally excellent and visible research institution. Radislav Sedlacek, the project coordinator from the IMG, explains: “The IMG aims to be a model for research excellence and a catalyst for economic development in the biosciences sector in the Czech Republic, especially in the Central Bohemian region and Prague”. 

During the next 12 months, the team will explore best-practice examples of the MPI-CBG management, grant support, international office, and technology transfer in order to adapt it to the needs of the IMG. The scientific agenda is one of the crucial pillars of the business plan. Therefore, in winter 2017 a joint scientific symposium involving the faculties of the IMG and the MPI-CBG will be organized in the Czech Republic. The participants will discuss their current research focus, synergies, and possible areas for future collaboration and research areas development. 

 “The principal goal of ARIB is to attract the best scientists on the market by creating excellent conditions for young research group leaders at the IMG based on MPI standards of scientific excellence”, adds Pavel Tomancak, the project deputy coordinator from the MPI-CBG.