Bringing new perspectives and strengthened diversity to the Nordics

The Nordic EMBL Partnership Coordination and Operations team met in Aarhus to spend two days together to inspire and advance joint initiatives.

Nordic EMBL Partnership’s Coordination and Operations team members in Aarhus, Denmark, May 2023.
Nordic EMBL Partnership’s Coordination and Operations team members in Aarhus, Denmark, May 2023.

The timing could not have been better for the Nordic EMBL Partnership’s Coordination and Operations team members to gather for a joint meeting in May. This meeting shortly followed the festivities around the renewal of the partnership agreement for the next ten years between EMBL and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience, DANDRITE, acted as host and invited thirteen colleagues from across the nodes and EMBL to unfold new inspirational ideas in order to strengthen collaborations and diversity within the Partnership.

On the first day of the meeting, after a warm welcome, team members focused on the strategic aspects of operations across the partnership, learning about its strongholds and identifying areas where joining forces and sharing resources can facilitate positive development. Participants also brainstormed about the best approach for enabling networking opportunities and leadership skills development for the brand new part of the upcoming annual Nordic EMBL Partnership Meeting, the Group Leader Satellite Workshop.

The second day demanded high engagement from the team as they worked with an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) workshop. Participants discussed the different aspects by close encounters in small groups, and the room was buzzing with ideas and revelations. The day ended with presentations from Chao Sun, Taro Kitazawa and Gilles Vanwalleghem, Group/Team Leaders, who all recently joined DANDRITE. They explained to the team how their research on brain synapses, neuroplasticity and the gut-brain axis can help people suffering in neurological disorders by deciphering the molecular mechanisms leading to disease. 


The Coordination and Operations meeting was a productive and rewarding experience for everyone involved. The bonds and knowledge gained during the event will continue to benefit this partnership in its future endeavours. 

“I have a more concrete view, and high hope for creating additional collaborations at the scientific and operative levels across the Partnership.”
Mari Kaunisto, Communications Coordinator, FIMM

“The links between us became stronger and it is an honour to be part of creating such an open and supportive work environment for each other, thus for our scientists as well. The social activities and scientific prospect mixed together, is a winning combination.”
Ingrid Kjelsvik, Head of Administration, NCMM

“I very much appreciate these annual meetings when we all get together and are able to identify the many opportunities the Nordic EMBL Partnership has the potential for. Even a small proportion of these ideas realised is a significant achievement from this Partnership. I am looking forward to seeing what the next ten years will bring.”
Agata Pernus Voigt, Senior Project Officer, International Relations, EMBL

“I am really happy with the outcome of this meeting. I have many thoughts on how to use the new knowledge we identified together during this meeting to overcome the shared challenges and inspire our community to develop and grow stronger.”
Astrid Munk, Research Group Coordinator, DANDRITE, main organiser of the meeting

The Nordic EMBL Coordination and Operations team will meet again in September at the annual Nordic EMBL Partnership meeting, hosted by FIMM in the greater Helsinki area.