Networking

Euroglycoforum

The Carbohydrate Chemistry Group offers its facilities and expertise as a Centre of Excellence of Euroglycosciences Forum (Euroglycoforum, partner 40), which was approved for 2014-2009 by the ESF - Research Networking Programme.

European Concerted Research Action - COST Action CM1102: Multivalent Glycosystems for Nanoscience (MultiGlycoNano)

Since 2013, the Group leader is a member of the COST Action CM1102 and networking has been established with other members, resulting in expert exchanges and students/expert participation in COST meetings.

PCBNet

Membership at PCBNet - Stem Cells, Prion Proteins and Alzheimer's Disease: A Prion Chemical Biology Network, Sheffield, UK, 2013-2011

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA)

The Carbohydrate Chemistry Group (CCG), commissioned by its leader, had the initiative to reply to the invitation of commitments launched by the EU in 2012 with the INOVAFUNAGEING commitment, based on the Group research, networking and initiatives proposed for EIP AHA Action Group A3 which is dedicated to the prevention and early diagnosis of frailty and functional decline, both physical and cognitive, in older people, for the period of 2012-2015. This FC-UL commitment was approved and the CCG leader was invited to EIP AHA A3 membership and participation in the implementation of its Action Plan (http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/pdf/active-healthy-ageing/a3_action_plan.pdf), that also comprises the activities and deliverables proposed in INOVAFUNAGEING commitment. The CCG collaborations generated the first EIP AHA FC-UL consortium, which was broadened to 30 institutions by the EU second call of commitments in 2013. Within EIP AHA A3 activities to be accomplished by the more than 70 consortia and institutions representing academia, companies and stakeholders, the Carbohydrate Chemistry Group has focused its activities and research to respond to the societal challenges related to a Healthy Ageing.

Sharing the objectives on enhancing the independence of older people to have a healthy life (Action Plan, objective 2), on contributing to research on healthy ageing and to knowledge generation concerning the mechanisms for ageing and the progression of frailty (Action plan, objective 5) and promoting cross-sector international cooperation between academia and companies, to support competitive translational research and development (Action plan, objective 7), the Carbohydrate Chemistry Group activities and deliverables are included in the following areas:

⇒ ICT supported services, e.g. an interactive website on the valorization of functional foods for disease prevention

⇒ ICT supported services by promoting elearning courses

⇒ Research into chemical and biological approaches towards innovative molecular entities and functional food ingredients

⇒ Research into the understanding of the mechanisms of frailty and ageing under the point of view of chemistry and biochemistry

⇒ Research on novel high-added products from biomass

The outcome of the Carbohydrate Chemistry Group work in the areas related to ageing for the period of 2012-2014, sometimes developed in collaboration with other CQB groups, and/or with EIP-AHA A3 partners, is summarized as follows:

i. 20 publications in peer review journals with contributions relevant to the areas of neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, cancer and infection

ii. Approval of two European projects for translational research and development

iii. Co-coordination of an elearning post-graduation course on glycosciences focusing on diseases relevant for ageing

iv. Education of Master and Ph.D. students with projects in related topics

v. Outreach activities, with the initiative for the implementation of an interactive website aiming to educate the general public

vi. Elaboration of Good Practices with two programs, one for nutrition and one for cognitive decline.

Implementation of the Innovation Partnership on the Valorization of Natural Resources of the Portuguese Speaking Countries

Based on the successful networking experienced in EIP AHA A3 Group, and on the research developed for the valorization of natural resources, in particular with medicinal plants, we took the initiative to propose and coordinate a Round Table at the Meeting of the Association of the Portuguese Speaking Universities (AULP) in Macau in 2014 to discuss how to launch an Innovation Partnership on the Valorization of Natural Resources of the Portuguese Speaking Countries. The endemic medicinal plants to Portuguese speaking countries in Africa, South America and Asia, and also in Europe, have not been exhaustively exploited in terms of translational research, offering unique opportunities for innovation from a scientific and a business perspective. The final decision of signing a memorandum for the preparation of the final protocol to be signed for the constitution of the Innovation Partnership on the Valorization of Natural Resources of the Portuguese Speaking Countries was taken on the 19th of September 2014, at this Round Table, with the participation of Universities and Institutions from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Macau, Mozambique, and S. Tomé e Príncipe.

Implementation of the Consortium Lisbon Living +

The initiative to create a Consortium for the application to the call launched by the European Innovation Institute of Technology (EIT) for a Knowledge Innovation Community in Healthy Life and Active Ageing resulted from the activities and networking at the EIP AHA A3 meetings and was encouraged by the call launched by FCT for the purpose. In direct collaboration and also supported by FCUL Direction and UL Rectorate, the Group leader promoted meetings with the EIP AHA partners, and with companies and stakeholders, and coordinated the actions that culminated with the submission of the project EIT-KIC/IVE/0051/2013, approved by FCT, and with the formation of the consortium LisbonLiving+. The CCG leader also participated in the consolidation of LisbonLiving+ as a member of its Executive Committee and as a representative member of FCUL Direction, until September 2014, when a new Executive Committee was formed with representatives of the Associate members of the application submitted to EIT for a Knowledge Innovation Community in Healthy Life and Active Ageing.

Research Network (BC/FCT)

Membership at the research network entitled “Valuation of Portuguese Salvia species in terms of food quality and funcional food production”, approved by The British Council Convenium/Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia with The University of Sheffield, 2008-2009 (group leader).

        Centro de Química e Bioquímica

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