The second phase of the “Science Management” course, aimed at researchers and managers from Portuguese-speaking countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and organised by the Calouste Gulbenkian and the “la Caixa” Foundations in collaboration with ISGlobal and the Manhiça Health Research Center (CISM), took place at the CaixaForum in Barcelona from September 10-14. The first phase of the course took place last February in Lisbon. The overall goal of the course was to strengthen leadership and science management capacities in internationally competitive research centers.
In their welcoming speeches, representatives of both foundations emphasized the key role of science, education and culture in human development, and the ongoing successful collaborations between both foundations. The inaugural session introduced the current tendencies and realities in global health, and Michael Makanga, executive director at EDCTP, listed the key drivers of success in collaborations between African and European institutions, including a shift from “independence to interdependence”. Antoni Plasència, general director of ISGlobal, explained why a global perspective of health is critical, while Eusebio Macete, director at CISM, underlined the need for equitable partnerships.
During the five days of the workshop, the trainees – researchers and managers from Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola and Portugal- listened to and shared experiences in different aspects of science management, from strategic planning in a research centre, to project management, communication, ethics, or team management in complex environments. Furthermore, they were able to discuss governance and leadership in research centres with Àngel Font, corporate director of research and strategy at “la Caixa”, Lluís Rovira, director of CERCA institutes, and Enric Banda, member of ISGlobal’s Board of Trustees, in a discussion chaired by Antoni Plasència and Francisco Saúte.
“Training personnel from Sub-Saharan research centres in management skills is key to ensure that these countries will develop their research capacities and contribute in a competitive and equitable manner to the global health field,” explains Nuria Casamitjana, director of the training department at ISGlobal.
“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity of assisting to a course tailored to our necessities as professionals in a low-middle income country context”, says Francisca Reis, Associate Professor at Angola University, and adds “I hope this initiative continues empowering people who have the dream of developing research of excellence in their countries.”
The course included visits to CosmoCaixa, the Barcelona’s Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and Barcelona’s Scientific Park (PRB).