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VANGUARD Consortium Meeting 2024 in Innsbruck, Austria

On January 27-28, the VANGUARD general assembly took place in Innsbruck, Austria. Nineteen participants representing the consortium’s nine project partners gathered for a two-day program consisting of project updates, planning sessions, and discussions. The meeting was kindly organized by the members of the Ludwig-Maximilians University München team.

The first day commenced with a welcome session by Jochen Seissler from Ludwig-Maximilians University München and project coordinator Ekaterine Berishvili from the University of Geneva. This was followed by presentations by participants regarding their recent results and progress on topics such as the generation of immunomodulatory hAECs, chimeric, immunoprotected, vascularized insulin-secreting organoids, assembly of the bioartificial pancreas. The discussions then continued during a dining session featuring Austrian national cuisine.

Day two of the consortium meeting provided an opportunity to continue scientific presentations on in vitro and in vivo assessment of the bioartificial pancreas and biocompatibility, safety, and toxicology. Additionally, the participants discussed updates on activities related to ethics, legal and social aspects of the project as well as plans for stakeholder engagement, dissemination and exploitation activities for the remaining duration of the project. The meeting concluded with the establishment of an action plan and closing remarks from the project coordinator, Ekaterine Berishvili, which is crucial considering the final stages of the VANGUARD project that is ending in 2025.

The goal of such events is not only to keep consortium members up to date with the project progress but also to create a platform for face-to-face communication that facilitates idea generation and fosters relationships for future collaborations. Such meetings are therefore vital for multinational consortium like VANGUARD.

The next consortium meeting is planned for the summer 2024 and will be hosted by the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy.