Alliance4Life (A4L), an international alliance of leading research institutions and universities operating in the field of biomedical sciences in Eastern Europe, including the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) – a member of A4L since 2018, has published a new comprehensive self-assessment studyof the current research and innovation performance of its members.
The document offers a comparison of data collected in 2015-2017 with the new benchmark results collected three years later in 2018-2020, during the ongoing A4L_ACTIONS project. The self-assessment report covers several dimensions of research activities. It includes a SWOT analysis providing an overview of the influence of various internal and external factors, as well as examines research culture across various institutes, managerial practices, resources as well as responsible metrics evaluated in the context of a quantitative benchmarking study. For better comparability with research institutions in Western Europe, the new self-assessment included a survey of perception of internal research culture, inspired by the Wellcome survey on research culture published in 2019 and 2020 (https://wellcome.org/reports/what-researchers-think-about-research-culture).
The report demonstrates that in the period 2018-2020, Alliance4Life members have initiated institutional changes that have already resulted in success in providing higher scientific productivity indicators. The results clearly show that the best-performing partners in terms of research outputs work in the environment of relatively well-functioning national systems, well-implemented practices of institutional management and well-developed internal research culture.
The report is publicly available to inspire other Eastern European research institutions to improve and modernize their management and research culture.
Large-scale ESIF investments into the life science infrastructure alone could not close the R&I gap in Europe so far, financial support needs to be complemented by measures on research and innovation strategy at institutional and national levels. Alliance4Life members believe that improving governance and managerial practices as well as transforming institutional culture will enhance efficiency and increase return on investment. The recently released self-assessment report serves as proof that the Alliance4Life members are on the right path towards the desired transformation.
Thanks to its membership in Alliance4Life, LIOS has been able to compare the effectiveness of its operations with other similar research organizations in Eastern Europe and incorporate best practices into its research management strategy.