This week (30th March – 1st April 2020), the SIMBA Consortium were due to gather in Reykjavík, Iceland for our 3rd partner meeting. Our partners at Matis organised a jam-packed agenda that included project updates from WP leaders, Early Career Researcher scientific presentations, meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board. As well as these meetings and more, there was time for dinner, coffee breaks and lunches where all partners could catch up.
But alas, that was not meant to be! As with so many meetings and events, our plans were changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Once it became clear that it was not advisable nor safe to travel at this time, our coordinators at Luke quickly changed the agenda and moved the meeting online.
The consortium meeting took place, using GoToMeeting, over the full day on Tuesday 31st March. The meeting started with a welcome from the SIMBA coordinator Anne Pihlanto, then it was time for WP leaders to give project updates on the activities that have taken place since our last meeting, and the plans for the next phase of the project. After lunch, we heard from ECRs who gave a more detailed insight into some of the ongoing scientific research of the project .
Up first from Siteia Parma (UNIPR), Dr Marina Caldara and Dr Sara Graziano presented their research on the ‘Evaluation of PGPMs effect on plant performance in greenhouse pot experiments’. After this, we heard from Dr Lucia Blasco (Luke) who explained current work on ‘Developing the concept of fermented foods (cereals, pulses): Process assessment to obtain safe and enhanced nutritional products’. Then, Dr Mads Lind Knudsen from UCPH presented on the human – seaweed intervention trials ongoing as part of the project. You can read Mads’ blog to learn more about that trial here. Finally, Dr Galyna Medyna (Luke) presented her work on ‘Environmental assessment and data issues related to assessing innovative agricultural approaches’.
Other meetings took place over the course of the week, such as an online steering committee meeting and General Assembly. On Wednesday 1st April, the Scientific Advisory Board met to discuss SIMBA’s scientific outputs to date (see picture of this meeting below).
While, our disappointment for not being able to attend the meeting in Reykjavík was noted by many throughout the meeting. We also noted that this virtual consortium meeting was very successful and a great way to connect and discuss the project during this unprecedented time, but we do look forward to the next meeting, where hopefully we can meet in person!
For now, stay safe and well!