Twinning Project for the Joint Development of the Research Infrastructure


Translation of biomedical research findings to useful application is a major challenge. The methodological quality of basic research is largely understudied and there are only preliminary efforts to improve the reporting of basic and preclinical studies. Improving the credibility, replication, and rigorous evaluation in research is nowadays as important or even more important than discovery. This is in particular true when assessing drugs’ effects where the collection and reporting of information on harms of pharmacological agents is deficient.

The project aims at strengthening laboratory capacity by providing:

i) support in the development of standard research techniques allowing data reproducibility
ii) use of molecular tools in the development of rapid diagnostic tests/new diagnosis methods
iii) joint research programmes to foster capacity strengthening.

The laboratory twinning initiative seeks to facilitate the exchange of information and resources by:

i) promoting the establishment of twinning projects between developed and resource-limited laboratories
ii) building a partnership network
iii) fostering cross-border collaboration

Joint implementation:

Role and relevance of the Lead Partner

University of Szeged is the lead R&D institution in this cross-border region with a solid background in electrophysiology and molecular biology in the field of drugs' effects characterization. Modern equipments and increasing expertise of senior researcher allow the development of state-of-art research. An increasing number of young researchers are trained to obtain postgraduate degrees, and the existing laboratories became inadequate. LP aims at developing a new research division that may allow training of both HU and RO researchers.

Role and relevance of Cross-border Partner

The University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara has the richest research experience in the NUTS III region and several ongoing CBC projects. In the past years new laboratories were developed and new research directions were opened in a collaborative manner with the HU partner. The joint expansion of the research infrastructure helped to strengthen competitiveness of both partners. PP aims to continue infrastructure development and partnership in education view the geographical vicinity and the common research interests with LP.

Target Groups

The direct beneficiaries are the partners institutions of LP and PP because by finalizing the present project the research related infrastructure will be improved according the standards of European legislation. Also the direct beneficiaries are represented by the multidisciplinary project team comprising medical doctors and scientists (chemists, physicists and pharmacists), both senior researchers and early-stage career scientists (PhDs and post-docs) that will be trained in an highly academic and will benefit from the commonly developed research facilities. With the development of research assistants able to use, maintain and most importantly train others to use several high-tech equipments, we envisage to markedly diminish the set-up time (down-time) for new recruits, which is extremely important in attracting active researchers with ongoing projects. Training of seniors will allow them to acquire the capacity to conduct research independently offering better career perspectives and preventing emigration of scientists to the western countries.

Cross border character

Implementation of the project proposal will strengthen and broaden the existing partnership between the partners. LP and PP are the major regional providers of R&D activities, yet infrastructure on both sides of the border needs significant improvements in order to be competitive within the EU research area. The twin designed research divisions by means of the new established laboratories can mutually supplement and support both cooperative cross-border partners’ increase in efficiency and competitiveness. Common development of equipments will: i) allow the implementation of joint projects of research in the characterization of new and innovative drugs at molecular and submolecular level by using infrastructure in a cooperative manner and generate consistent, reproducible results, ii) provide further basis for a long-term cross-border scientific cooperation in the field of drug development.
The cross-border cooperation will also enhance the educational level in both graduate and postgraduate directions, thus supporting continuing medical education and continuing professional development, a lifelong learning process required in order to improve the quality of human resources of both partners. In long-term we consider to attract funds from pharmaceutical industry and to provide technological transfer in companies/spin-offs.

Project Management Team

From the LP:
Associate professor Dr. Norbert Jost (project manager and coordinator for HU)
Prof. Dr. András Varró (professional project leader)
Váradi Edit (Financial Manager for HU)

From the PP:
Prof. Dr. Muntean Mirela Danina (Project Coordinator for RO)
Dr. Lavinia Noveanu, MD, PhD (Scientific Director for RO)
Balosin Loredana (Financial Assistant for RO)

Main data of the project:

Timeframe: 2013.01.01-2014.04.30
Total budget: 552.698 EUR from which the total amount of ERDF awarded: 469793 EUR
The total budget at LP: 278203 EUR
The total budget at PP: 274495 EUR

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