It’s a no brainer: obstacle-free exchange between research and industry will bring benefits to both, and above all will have a positive impact on society.
But despite the evidence, companies and research labs view each other often as alien worlds. Changing this view is one of the challenges of the new European Commission funded Industrial Doctorate (EID) project. Such a grant has been awarded to Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) for the action entitled ¨4D analysis of heart development and regeneration using advanced light microscopy ¨-in short 4Dheart- under the H2020 framework.
4Dheart started on 1 January 2017 with a budget of 1.5 million € and will run for a total of four years and train 6 early stage researchers. The future predoctoral researchers will join the project after a rigorous selection process and will be the best life-science graduates from several European universities. Each will be jointly supervised by a researcher from an academic sector and a supervisor from a partner industrial sector and will spend half of his/her training at premises of this partner. At the end of this period, they will defend their PhD at one of the prestigious Universities which are part of the network.
The coordinator of the project is Prof. Miguel Torres from CNIC, a leading international research center dedicated to understanding the basis of cardiovascular health and disease and to translating this knowledge into improved patient care. He will supervise the training of the ESRs with collaboration of Prof. Borja Ibáñez.
The companies participating in 4Dheart are recognized world leaders in innovation. Among them we could highlight the following companies. Acquifer which integrates expertise for the development of assays, instruments and tools required for whole organism and cell based high content screening applications, and is strongly interlinked with a network of scientific and industrial partners. Leica Microsystems’ Life Science Division which supports the imaging needs of the scientific community with advanced innovation and technical expertise for the visualization, measurement and analysis of microstructures. Philips Healthcare (PH) one of the Product Divisions (PD) of Royal Philips Electronics.
The training will be done in collaboration with the following academic partners of the project: University of Bern a top-class performer in research areas that are of great social and scientific importance, represented by Prof. Nadia Mercader; the CNRS Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences at Ecole Polytechnique with a very interdisciplinary group of researchers and scientific projects (Prof. Willy Supatto, PhD) and the laboratory of Prof, Julien Vermot located at the IGBMC, one of the leading centers of biomedical research in Europe.
Beyond training participants for future postdoctoral research, 4Dheart will expand the professional possibilities open to these investigators at the end of their doctoral training. The training offered in this EID is extensive and broad, so that on completing the program, students will be able to choose among careers in academic research, the private sector, patent protection and science communication, or they might even be inspired to form their own start-up. This broad range of options is fostered by the diversity of the industrial partners in 4Dheart, including the imaging technology sector and biotech.