Last week SYS-LIFE travelled to Brussels to meet our partners at Ghent University, as well as to pay a visit to Nordic House and the Finnish embassy. SYS-LIFE was represented by Director Markus Juonala, Vice Director Georges Kazan, Professor Pasi Liljeberg and Project manager Eeva Rainio.

At Ghent University we had the pleasure to meet SYS-LIFE partner, Professor Bernard De Baets, who leads the Knowledge-based Systems research unit KERMIT, as well as other professors from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. We introduced SYS-LIFE programme and Health research at the University of Turku, and got to hear about the strengths and aims of Ghent University’s Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. Afterwards, we did some matchmaking and brainstorming on how to develop SYS-LIFE and Ghent-UTU collaboration.

Ghent University, Campus Coupre

Graslei, Ghent

The next day we visited Nordic House to meet with our Head of EU Affairs at the Turku EU Office, as well as with representatives from Region Skåne and the Greater Copenhagen EU Office, who are also leaders of the Health Working Group ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network). We discussed possibilities on developing collaboration between SYS-LIFE, UTU, their home regions and ERRIN. 
Later, we visited the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, where we presented SYS-LIFE and UTU Health and learned more about how the Representation works for Finnish research and heard about their present and upcoming activities.

All in all, our visit resulted in plenty of fruitful conversations about how SYS-LIFE can act as a bridge to enhance international collaboration and cultivate interdisciplinary scientific excellence with a wide range of partners. In addition to excellent discussions, we got to enjoy springtime in the beautiful cities of Ghent and Brussels.

Spring in Ghent

SYS-LIFE Director Markus Juonala

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