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Work
Package 08

BIOPOLIS CoE Affiliates Programme

Objectives
To design and implement an Affiliates Programme, which will engage stakeholders and nurture their relationship with BIOPOLIS over time, contributing to align research with societal needs (WP5), implement the CD&E Plan (WP7), and assuring long term sustainability through continued support of stakeholders.
Tasks
8.1
8.1. Design of the Affiliates Programme
This task will focus on the design of the Affiliates Programme, which will involve other research academic and research institutions, business corporations, organisms of the public administration at the national, regional and local levels, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders. This will help formalising in a coherent structure the multiple partnerships of BIOPOLIS, while contributing to further expand its network of collaborations. The objective is to create an information-rich forum and a complex ecosystem involving multiple partners using BIOPOLIS facilities and R&I results. The Programme will contribute to promote a creative environment where people with multiple backgrounds and interest will be able to interact, either in person or virtually. The Programme will foster knowledge transfer, as well as increased mobility between research institutions and different sectors of the society. We will review similar programmes that have been implemented in US and European Universities, based on which we will develop a plan detailing for instance the scope of the programme, benefits and obligations of affiliates, modalities of research interaction, strategy for attracting new Affiliates, and communication and dissemination strategy (in articulation with WP7). These activities will be coordinated with those of the UM services, in order to enlarge the spectrum of potential stakeholders, and to share practices and experience in the case of similar stakeholders in both countries, thus producing mutual benefit.
8.2
8.2. Implementation and monitoring of the Affiliates Programme
The Affiliates Programme will be established initially with the institutions supporting the BIOPOLIS proposal (see letters of commitment), and it will grow with the progressive addition of new members. The activities to be developed will be detailed in the Programme to be developed, but are expected to include:

Affiliate Programme Membership - Each institution will sign an affiliation protocol with BIOPOLIS, defining the obligations and benefits of each party. Although the general terms of the protocol will be common for all partners, it will be customised to fit its needs and specificities. The model of affiliation may range from access to a virtual environment whereby partners can have access to BIOPOLIS activities (e.g., remote access to lectures or workshops), to a comprehensive collaboration involving the use of office space and lab facilities at BIOPOLIS.

Consolidation of established relationships - The initial group of Affiliates will be established using the excellent relationships that have been maintained by project partners with a number of business corporations and governmental organisms and agencies. Many of these organizations have already expressed their commitment to BIOPOLIS, and/or have a history of successful working relationships with the project partners. Examples are corporations that have been supporting Invited Chairs in Biodiversity (Task 9.2).

Development of new relationships - The strategy to attract new Affiliates will be detailed in the planning phase, but will involve a systematic screening for the identification of potential partners, the development of preliminary proposals tailored to meet their profile and research needs, the scheduling of meetings to discuss the Programme, and finally the negotiation of a protocol of affiliation in the programme. UM will participate in this task, in particular through the involvement of its LabExes (Laboratories of Excellence), which are mandated to perform this type of activity for the local scientific community.

Engagement with affiliates - After formally creating the Affiliates Programme, BIOPOLIS will establish the channels of communication between institutions, which will include the website, a regular newsletter (see WP7), personal contacts for screening new research needs and opportunities, and development of new research projects, among others.

Design and implementation of a website - Information to Affiliates will be available in a website. Depending on the planning results, this may be a website specifically dedicated to the Affiliates Programme, or a section within the BIOPOLIS website. The website will provide information on all aspects of BIOPOLIS activity that are of potential interest to the Affiliates, as well as information from the latter that may be useful to BIOPOLIS’s researchers.
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