Life sciences in The Netherlands, the next step

Autumn event for the Research Communities for Dutch Life sciences

In 2019 five Research Communities for Life Sciences have been established at the life sciences conference ‘Life2019’ organised by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Through these five research communities, the life sciences research field will be able to make an effective contribution towards the work of NWO. The link between researchers and NWO is essential to ensure that signals in the field are picked up by NWO, and that NWO is able to gain access to the field.

On 13 November an online event for the research communities will take place, titled Life sciences in The Netherlands, the next step. This event is organised by NWO in collaboration with the chairs of the research communities. Members of the research communities have received an invitation to register. Are you not a member but are you interested to participate in this meeting? Please send an e-mail to researchcommunitieslife@NWO.NL.

During this meeting 3 important issues will be addressed:

    1. The creation of the sectorbeeld Biology as well as companion sectorbeelden for Earth and Environmental sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Astronomy and the importance for the field of the life sciences.
    2. The importance of international collaboration for the field and views on how to move on.
    3. Research community building around two themes:
      • Life sciences for the future: challenges ahead and how to tackle them. This topic addresses challenges as presented in the sectorbeelden.
      • Let your voice be heard: how to make your research community active and effective? This topic addresses the need to organize and unite the community to tackle scientific and societal challenges and to be able to speak with a clear unite voice.

Programme outline

14.30h – 15.30h
I – Interactive plenary session broadcasted from the Central Studios in Utrecht.
Part A -> Scope of this meeting and the importance of field organisation in the life sciences

  • Peter de Ruiter, chair of the Life Sciences Round Table, emeritus guest professor associated to the University of Amsterdam and Wageningen University & Research.
  • Marjolein Robijn, head Life Sciences at the NWO Science Domain.

Part B -> Important national developments, sectorbeelden
Presentation of the sectorbeeld  Biology as well as companion sectorbeelden for Earth and Environmental sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Why are these sector outlooks created, who were involved, what is the aim of the outlooks and how to move on? Panel members and presenters:

  • Rens Voesenek, chair of the Taskforce sectorbeeld Biology, professor of Ecophysiology of Plants at Utrecht University.
  • Roos Masereeuw, chair of the Taskforce sectorbeeld Pharmaceutical Sciences, member of the Life Sciences Round Table and professor of Experimental Pharmacology at Utrecht University.

Part C ->Important international developments, the necessity to collaborate
Illustrated in two presentations:

  • Edith Heard, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), an important international research infrastructure.
  • Dolf Weijers, who recently became a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). EMBO is about cross border exchange of science and scientists to improve collaboration and ‘scientific ecosystems’ to grow talent.

15:30h-15:40h
Break

15:40h-16:40h
II – Interactive online break-out sessions for the five Research Communities

  • Life sciences for the future: challenges ahead and how to tackle them. This topic addresses challenges as presented in the sectorbeeld during the plenary session of the event. Discussions will take place in small subgroups.
  • Let your voice be heard: how to make your research community active and effective? This topic addresses the need to organize and unite the community to tackle scientific and societal challenges and to be able to speak with a clear unite voice. Discussions will take place in small subgroups.

16:40h-16:50h
III – Plenary conclusions and closure

The chair and moderator of this event will be microbiologist, columnist and writer Rosanne Hertzberger.