LinkTADs - Linking Epidemiology and Laboratory Research on Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) and Zoonoses in EU and China, is a project funded by the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No: 613804. LinkTADs brings together world-class research institutes and experts in cross-border cooperation with the aim to coordinate the development of new epidemiology and laboratory tools by linking researchers in China and Europe. It will facilitate research collaboration and bring down barriers, including regulations, policies, politics and language. SPI is one of the 11 partners of LinkTADs consortium.
To facilitate this dissemination of knowledge on TADs and create a forum for the discussion and exchanges of ideas, LinkTADs has organized a 3-day event covering some of the most relevant issues concerning veterinary laboratory sciences. The event took place on 12-14 October at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) facilities in Vienna, Austria. The LinkTADs 2nd progress meeting was held on 15-16 October at the same venue to discuss the project outcome and plan for the next year. SPI sent representative to participate in it.
The first session on New Diagnostic Technologies (12 Oct) covered some of the latest diagnostic technologies being developed and used, e.g. molecular platforms, high throughput technologies, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, field applications, etc. The impacts of these new technologies may have on future laboratory functions and on animal disease surveillance was discussed in the forum.
The second session on Coordination of Research (13 Oct) aimed to describe the main research initiatives in the EU, China and across the globe. An open forum provided the opportunity to discuss how the EU and China could work together on a research agenda and collaborate on how to fund research, including the pathogens/approaches, as well as networking, research gaps, lessons learned, and improvement targets.
The third session on Veterinary Laboratory Systems and Policy (14 Oct), organized by SPI and FAO, aimed to describe and discuss the way veterinary laboratory systems are organized and how policy gets developed and implemented across the different functional levels in the EU, China and internationally. The participants had a chance to explore and develop opportunities for the coordination of laboratory systems.