October 2016 marked the completion of the LinkTADs project, a three-year initiative funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to coordinate European and Chinese research on animal health.
As a result of various LinkTADs activities, EU-China collaboration has intensified through increased networking of relevant scientific communities and stakeholders, trainings for EU and Chinese researchers and establishment of linkages between ongoing animal health research and innovation projects in both regions.
LinkTADs organized a number of events:
- 11 technical workshops emphasized the importance of linking laboratory and epidemiology in the animal health research field and enabled establishment of the LinkTADs network of research institutions;
- 6 short terms academic visits and 3 exchange programs were organized providing excellent opportunities for LinkTADs and external partners to visit each other’s laboratories and facilities, learn in-depth about the ongoing activities and research lines and define new paths for collaboration;
- 5 trainings were delivered in close cooperation with existing training programmmes in the EU and China resulting in a compilation of training materials available on the LinkTADs website;
- 7 webinars were broadcast throughout the course of the project covering mostly specific diseases or policy aspects. This modern tool was seen as a useful way to deliver talks by experts allowing a wide participation of stakeholders in the EU/China.
- 2 policy meetings were organized bringing EU and Chinese policy makers together; additionally, recommendations were developed on the basis of identified gaps and synergies for further potential harmonization of relevant regulations in both regions.
- 4 dissemination events were held in both the EU and China contributing to reaching project objectives and enhancing the project impact.
The LinkTADs networking graph below shows the established relations within the consortium and with external partners, thus demonstrating the project’s sustainability potential.
Successful project completion does not mean that the end of our work on the LinkTADs. Within the project, Europa Media was responsible for the platform development and we aim to maintain the website as an information platform on cooperation in the animal health field between the EU and China for at least two years after the project completion. During the project implementation the platform was visited more than 10,000 times.
The platform includes several sections developed specifically within LinkTADs: collection of EU-China policy and strategy documents in animal health research collaboration; partner database, downloadable library of workshop reports, recorded webinars, training materials, and newsletters as well as the LinkTADs “Find Funding” tool.
The Funding database is an innovative tool, designed by Europa Media in order to help researchers look for available funding covering travel grants, scholarships, exchange programmes, fellowships available for European and Chinese experts working in the veterinary field including animal health and food safety. The LinkTADs partners decided to make it available for public users.
Thus, if you are an international researcher looking for funding opportunities in the field of animal health or food security, feel free to visit the LinkTADs website. The “Find funding” tool currently lists 180 entries collected by EM.
Additionally, Europa Media will be involved in maintaining the activities of the LinkTADs Focal Point Network. The Network consists of international researchers and experts from the EU and China with experience in animal health related research and relevant expertise in EU-China cooperation, e.g. funding, logistics, networking opportunities, etc. The LinkTADs Focal Point Network will provide support to anyone interested in animal health research and relevant cooperation between the EU and China. Europa Media will assist in sustaining the network using the LinkTADs LinkedIn group for communication.
Europa Media and the LinkTADs team encourage international epidemiologists, laboratory workers, PhD students and individual researchers active in the field of animal health and food security to make use of LinkTADs tools, which are available beyond the project completion as part of the LinkTADs sustainability plan.
LinkTADs team during the final project meeting