Linking Epidemiology and Laboratory Research on Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses in EU and China

LinkTADs is “Going Viral”: a fruitful debate at EPIZONE’s 10th Annual Meeting on our achievements so far and the next steps in animal health

Valentina Zuri

On 29th September, the Madrid-based conference hosted a one-day session on LinkTADS, featuring several of the project’s partners, as well as the new Project Officer, an animal health expert at the European Commission.

The day allowed the project coordinator, Daniel Beltrán-Alcrudo (FAO), to provide an overview of the work carried out by LinkTADs and its main achievements, not only in scientific terms, but also as far as the network reach was concerned. Participants were especially interested in better understanding the types of collaborations and partnerships that had emerged thanks to our work: if you are too, check Daniel’s presentation here or drop us a message.


Next on stage was Marilia Cunha, based at SPI, explaining available research funding opportunities from Chinese public and private funding agencies, such as the 973 programme, which focuses on sustainable development in fields such as agriculture, energy, information, resources and environment, population and health and materials. Other funding opportunities for research and teaching collaborations between EU and China can be found on the LinkTADs “Find Funding” dynamic portal. As usual, we are very eager to know your thoughts and comments on how to improve our services or on opportunities that might be added, so feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions.

Julien Cappelle represented CIRAD, leader of WP3 on Veterinary Epidemiology and main contributor to other scientific-focused Work Packages. Julien gave an overview on the most researched species and the most common types of research between EU and China, deriving current priorities in research and identifying potential collaborations not only within LinkTADs, but also with external organisations. Read more on his slides here.

Next, Gabriella Lovász from Europa Media highlighted the main results from two specific deliverables of the project: the Best Practices report and the Joint Innovation Report (which will be published soon). Amongst the main conclusions, she reported the need for more collaboration between research organisations and universities on one side, and private industrial partners on the other side, which should be based on strict attention to Intellectual Property. Also, new technologies offer high potential to research in animal health: wearables, big data and predictive analytics are only a few examples of potential innovations in the field. Our new project officer, Mr. Razvan Anistoroaei, showed his pleasure to be involved in the project and provided all participants with the European Commission’s perspective, in particular regarding the available funding under Horizon 2020 in this line of research, an interesting topic for partners and for the audience, who had solid ideas to share with us.

An external speaker was also invited to the session, because of the close links that were created with the project: Sandra Blome, from the Global African Swine Fever Research Alliance. Sandra explained the mission of the GARA alliance, showing the wide network it has created and inviting all participants to become members through three possible options. Should you be interested in partnering up, read her slides and learn more on how to collaborate with them.

Last but not least, Ana Mateus from the Royal Veterinary College focused on the training exchange opportunities between EU and China that were organised during LinkTADs duration. While the online webinars already proved useful to many researchers around the world, the real impact of the project was facilitated by the face-to-face training sessions, based on the “learn-by-doing” approach, with 70-80% of time spent on field work, and on the idea that travelling and meeting in person always has a more profound effect as personal experience.

All in all, the session yielded very fruitful and high quality discussions on current needs in fighting Transboundary Animal Diseases and in research collaborations between the EU and China, as well as strategic points on the next steps that could be taken.

We hope you were able to follow our live-streaming on that day: if this is not the case, you still have a chance to download all presentations from this page, as well as to watch the recorded videos from this playlist.

Keep following us on this website and on our social media and stay tuned for upcoming news!