2023 in a nutshell: A Decade of Science, Dreaming, and Dialogue

2023 was special. As we marked the milestone of our 10th anniversary, it was not merely a celebration of longevity; it was a testament to a decade of impassioned dialogue, visionary dreaming, and steadfast dedication to the advancement of science.

The EU-LIFE Utopia Conference “Envisioning the research centres of the future”, a rare forum where researchers, managers and policy makers converged to delve into the intricacies of scientific pursuit and envision the future, stood as a poignant testament to our journey. In the company of around 300 colleagues within and beyond EU-LIFE member institutes, our conference echoed with the voices of early career researchers, seasoned professionals, and the unsung heroes — the staff — who infuse every endeavour with added value. It's a tribute to the diverse tapestry of talents and perspectives that enrich the scientific landscape and propel us forward.

Reflecting on the highlights of 2023, our achievements resonated across our different areas of action. EU-LIFE stood at the forefront of shaping EU research and innovation policies, contributing to critical discussions on the European Research Areas policy, including research assessment, gender equality, knowledge valorisation, animal experimentation, and more. With active involvement in relevant committees, initiatives and policy events, we fostered a collaborative ethos, influencing policy landscapes and providing a voice for the scientific community in European policy.

Regarding our contribution to creating an optimal environment for research, we cultivated sharing of practices and knowledge through workshops, benchmarking sets, and trainings among the 15 different institutes of the alliance. From ERC Masterclasses to Technology Transfer Pitch events, from technologies to research assessment benchmarking exercises, we nurtured talent, facilitated collaboration, and fortified institutional expertise, ensuring a robust foundation for groundbreaking research.

Our 10th-anniversary celebration encapsulated the spirit of innovation and foresight, culminating in a conference envisioning the research centres of the future. As we charted the course for the next decade, other initiatives like the international EU-LIFE/Nature essay contest and the mapping of potential institutes across Europe to join the EU-LIFE alliance underscored our commitment to fostering excellence and inclusivity in life sciences research.

Amidst these milestones, our communication efforts thrived, amplifying our message through videos, booklets, and social media campaigns. Behind the scenes, diligent recruitment processes fortified our team.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of science, EU-LIFE remains steadfast in its mission—to catalyse excellent research and innovation, advocate for equitable policies, and nurture the next generation of scientific leaders. Our 10th anniversary serves not only as a commemoration of the past but as a renewed call for the future — a future where science is fuelled by collaboration, curiosity, and unwavering resolve. Together, let us continue to dream, innovate, and push the boundaries of possibility.

Here's to the next decade of scientific excellence, and to the countless possibilities that lie ahead.*


Mónica Bettencourt-Dias, Chair of EU-LIFE

Mónica Bettencourt-Dias
Chair of EU-LIFE

Marta Agostinho, EU-LIFE Executive Director

Marta Agostinho
EU-LIFE Executive Director

To read the full report, click here.


* Text writing assisted by ChatGPT, OpenAI, 10 May 2024, https://chat.openai.com/chat