LEUCOREA Wittenberg was the perfect place for hosting THREAD’s final meeting

POSTED: 14 February 2024

The final annual meeting of the THREAD network was held at the LEUCOREA Conference Centre in Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Germany) from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th February 2024. Founded in 1502, at the time of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, LEUCOREA was the seat of the Electoral Saxon State University and one of the most renowned universities in Germany. Today, the LEUCOREA is a part of the University of Halle-Wittenberg and a conference venue that provided space for our sessions as well as for lodging for all participants.

The meeting was attended by the members of the consortium, ESRs and Management team, with a special participation of Michel Géradin, who also gave a lecture on Wednesday. After the core group of a planned new project met on Monday morning, the meeting was officially opened after lunch by the project coordinator Martin Arnold. Several sessions that followed were dedicated to summarising the achievements of the project and preparation for the final reporting, with a special emphasis on research reports for each of the three research-related work packages. In addition, 9 ESRs reported on the progress of their PhD projects and presented recent research results. The good news is that in the following period there will be a series of doctoral thesis defences, which will represent the fulfilment of the most important project goal – successful innovative training of early-stage researchers.

Another important topic was the possible continuation of cooperation through the Doctoral networks programme in Horizon Europe. The new application, coordinated by Olivier Brüls, will propose a network of joint doctorates arranged between partner organisations. Principal investigators from all partner organisations had short presentations of the proposed PhD projects related to three research-related work packages. Interesting lectures given by Olivier Brüls and Joachim Linn gave an additional scientific contribution to the meeting.

A very special event was the dinner on Monday at Hotel Martas where Martin organised a party for his 60th birthday. In a relaxed atmosphere the guests enjoyed amazing food and music performed by the Martin’s children. Before that Martin received different slender-structure gifts from the members of the consortium and blew all 60 candles on this birthday cake with one blow.

On Tuesday we had a nice guided tour around the city centre where we learned a lot about Wittenberg’s history and importance. Despite the cold wind, the tour was successful and interesting, and it had its finale at El Toro, an Indian-Spanish type restaurant. Many ordered beer, motivated by Martin Luther’s philosophy that drinking beer takes you to heaven.

On the final day there were many interesting presentations given by the ESRs, partners in the new DN-JD application and, in particular, Michel Géradin. Tasks related to final activities on THREAD, as well as those related to the preparation of the new DN-JD proposal were defined and scheduled.

Besides being essential for the successful completion of the project, the meeting additionally strengthened the bond and collaboration between the partners, especially in the context of the new project proposal. In fact, the high motivation of all partners to take part in the new proposal, along with the presented satisfaction of the ESRs with their PhD projects, demonstrates the success of THREAD.

Contributed by Leo Škec (URFCE)