Case Studies


EIT Health KIC


Teaming partners UC, UNEW, UMCG and IPN are members of EIT Health KIC. This powerful knowledge and innovation community was selected in December, 2014 from the bid submitted by InnoLIFE consortium. UC and IPN, under the umbrella of Ageing@Coimbra, successfully negotiated the inclusion of four associate partners in EIT Health InnoSTARS: UC, IPN, CHUC and BIAL Pharma. The InnoSTARS cluster located in the Central Region of Portugal has been recognised as a driving force in building the consortium and consolidating management structures. 


  EIT Health is a powerful public-private partnership with 144 partners located in six colocation centres (Scandinavia, United Kingdom, France, Benelux, Germany and Spain) and one ring of InnoSTARS regions (in Portugal, Wales, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia). UC and IPN have been highly attractive as partners in a significant number of EIT Health consortiums for applications in innovation, business creation and education.  

In the last EIT Health call, UC and IPN joined consortia involving partners like Ferrer Pharma, Roche, Philips, Essilor, IESE, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen Business School and others. Moreover, UC joined a consortium led by the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School for EIT Label projects. MIA Summer School was included as an introductory component of the EIT Health KIC short course under the leadership of Cologne University.


ERA Chair of the Biology of Ageing


MIA project partners supported the application of the H2020 ERA Chair project, ERA@UC. This project was awarded 2.5 million euros to attract the first internationally recognised performance excellence group to MIA. 

An outstanding leading scientist and manager will head this group, further supported by up to four postdoctoral researchers and two laboratory technicians.


The contract for the research group is planned for an initial five-year period and will result in a tenured position, at UC, for the principal investigator in the third or fifth year of the contract.


 ERA@UC will recruit an international leading principal investigator in the area of cellular and molecular biology of ageing.



 National and International Political Support


MIA-Portugal received strong commitment and political support from relevant regional, national and international stakeholders during Teaming Phase 1.

- Organisation of MIA-Portugal and Ageing@Coimbra support workshop in the Health Commission of the Portuguese Republic Assembly (Lisbon, June 2015)

  - Organisation of MIA-Portugal and Ageing@Coimbra 13th European Week of Regions and Cities info day (Brussels, October 2015). Communication by the President of CCDRC in the EIP-AHA plenary session organised in the European Parliament (Brussels, December 2015). Communication by the President of CCDRC in a special EIP-AHA reference site in “Building the Future of Health” meeting (Groningen, June 2016).  

- Closing session of MIA-Portugal and Ageing@Coimbra regional meeting by the President of the Republic of Portugal (Coimbra, May 2016).


International Summer School on Ageing


MIA-Portugal Teaming International Summer School on Ageing – From Cell to Society brought together 21 students from Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Lithuania for a one-week intensive course in Alvor, Algarve, Portugal (April 25-29, 2016). The 24 lecturers were selected on the basis of their excellence and international recognition in the biology of 


  ageing, the pharma industry and SMEs and start-ups operating within the scope of ageing, business incubation and IP protection. The following institutions were involved: UC, UNEW, UMCG, Mayo Clinic, University of Copenhagen, University of Cologne, Unilever, Biocant, Treat-U, Luzitin, CNC.IBILI, Instituto Pedro Nunes, Previum. 




The general outcome of the Summer School was considered to be excellent by the students and lecturers. 


 International Meeting on the Biology of Ageing


UNEW organized the 6th Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference in Northumberland on October 1-3, 2015. This meeting was jointly organised by UNEW, UMCG and the Mayo Clinic and was a stepping-stone towards supporting the creation of a constructive and sustainable partnership with UC to promote the internationalisation of MIA-Portugal.

  A delegation of the UC team was actively involved in the conference, including one session chair, three speakers, and four poster presenters. Furthermore, five UC team members also actively participated in the International Conference on Molecular Biology of Ageing, organised by UMCG and ERIBA in Groningen on October 25-28, 2015.    


Joint PhD. Courses on Ageing


 Teaming partners UC, UNEW and UMCG launched a collaborative program to support advanced Master Studies and PhD courses on ageing. Two one-week courses were organised in Coimbra, the first one being in October 2014 and the second in February 2016.    Both courses were attended by a total of 45 Master and PhD students, including students from UC (33), UNEW (11) and UMCG (1). This collaborative experience was evaluated very positively by students and lecturers and formed the basis for starting scientific    twinning collaborations between research groups, the mobility of UC students to UNEW and UMCG and well as the support of students and lecturers in the International Summer School on Ageing.