The MCAA- Polish Chapter (PC) had its second chapter meeting on the 11th September 2017. The meeting was hosted by the Institute of Fluid Flow and Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMP PAN). The main agenda of the meeting was to welcome the new members of the chapter, discuss and plan the activities for the 2nd year and elect the new chapter chair.
The meeting was attended by 19 people from 6 different cities and 9 different institutes. Several topics were discussed for the promotion of the MCAA-PC, increase the networking as well as outreach activities. Suggestions from the participants were taken for identifying the training needs of the fellows. It was identified that presentation skills training should be the next training event undertaken from the chapter budget. The training will be scheduled along with the next meeting in March 2018. In addition several other opportunities for getting access to trainings in the most cost effective way were discussed including collaborating with host institutes of the MCAA fellows to participate in the training organized by the host institute or collaborating with other chapters and working groups to organize the same. Also a working website was demonstrated and efforts to increase its use have been made. Among other suggestion the exact location of MCAA members in Poland should be included on the map. The Polish Chapter members also agreed upon introducing a MCAA open lab days by its members as well as design PC flyers to promote it among scientists residing in Poland.
The outreach activities discussed were the Voice of Young Science: Standing up for Science workshop, co-organized with the Sense about Science foundation, in November 2017 in Warsaw as well as next Baltic Science Festival in 2018. Other vistas for outreach activities include vising schools to attract children to scientific careers were discussed. The first chair of the PC, Dr. Maria Gorna stepped down after a highly successful term as chair where she oversaw several activities come to fruition and the recruitment of over 50 new members in a period of 6 months. Dr Rohan Soman was elected unopposed as the new chair of the PC with (19 for votes and 0 against votes). In order to overcome any possible language barrier and to ensure good communication with the local bodies Dr Michal Karpinski was selected as the new vice-chair.
The post lunch session saw the start of the BSB- group and PC joint event. The 19 PC members were joined by 11 more MC fellows from the BSB group and 2 external participants. The first day had 3 talks scheduled along with ample time for networking in the form of coffee breaks. The talks scheduled covered the different aspects of IPR including the introduction about the different types of IPR from Dr Mugdha Joshi of the King’s College London, Followed by Inna Dimova who acted as a connector for the first talk and the one from Dr. Darren Smyth who is a patent lawyer. Followed the intense day of learning a networking dinner was organized at the restaurant located at the iconic site of the Musical Academy in the old city of Gdansk.
The second day started with the small workshop on Design Thinking by Daria Nikulina which guided the participants through the entire process of designing interviews and the reaching the solutions through critical analysis and thinking. The design think workshop had fun interactive exercises which helped the participants get hands-on experience of the process. The Design Thinking workshop was followed by a talk from Julien Surdre which told the participants about the different funding opportunities for the young researchers. The last session was dedicated to researchers who have successfully commercialized their research. The invited speakers covered a wide range of experiences and time lines including successful entrepreneurs like Prof. Ahmet Oral with 19+ years of experience running a spin off and new researchers who are in different phases of commercialization and patenting like Dr Adam Celiz and Dr Diana Prata. The last talk for the day was by Oscar Churro who shared his experiences of starting different innovation based companies in Poland and the UK and walked the participants through the different stages and the costs associated with the incorporation of the company. The talk shared personal experiences which made it invaluable to all the participants.
The event was possible due to the initiative of Pavlo Bazilinsky and Yaroslav Verkh who approached the PC chapter and turned the meeting into a successful event of learning and networking as well as the speakers participants and all the volunteers who strived hard to make the event a success.