The DEFEND consortium kick-off meeting took place at The Pirbright Institute on 27-28 September 2018. Over 40 participants from 25 of the partner organisations participated in the event, from countries across Europe as well as from South Africa and Canada.
Day 1 began with an overview and update of the project by Dr Pip Beard (the project co-ordinator), followed by introductions from the partners. The rest of the day then focused on the science work packages, with presentations from each of the work package leaders, followed by in-depth discussions to plan the next steps and the collaborations required.
Day 2 focused on the DEFEND working procedures. This included a discussion on the participation and promotion of women in science. Female leadership is highly visible in DEFEND, with a female lead and 50% female representation at the kick-off meeting. Tools for promoting women and science and how to ensure a gender balance throughout the project were discussed.
Everybody found the meeting useful for progressing their work on DEFEND and for relationship building with people that they will be collaborating closely with for the next five years.
Thank you to everyone for making the meeting such a success, with interesting presentations, lively discussions and a spirit of collegiality.