The kick-off meeting for the ENT1DEP-project was held in Tampere, Finland, on the premises of the project coordinator at the Kauppi campus of Tampere university on 5-6th February 2024. 

Altogether 27 in-person participants and a handful of virtual ones, representing the 11 partners of the project gathered to discuss the aims of the project and how to best carry out the practical side of this undertaking. 

The meeting was a great start for the project – We gained an overview of each other’s expertise and the available resources, and how they could be used to study the link between enteroviruses and Type 1 Diabetes. The clinical cohorts and related available samples as well as the advanced cell, organoid, and mouse models to be used in targeted studies within the project were introduced. Members of the steering committee were selected and representatives for the external Ethical Advisory Board were suggested by partners. 

In addition to ENT1DEP partner participants, we had the pleasure to have our Project Officer (PO) from the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) to introduce the Horizon Europe Health cluster, and to explain, what is expected from the project from the funding agency’s point of view. Our PO also gave us a brief introduction to our 8 sister projects that were funded under the same topic “Relationship between infections and non-communicable diseases”. Brief introductions and links to each sister project’s web pages will be added to our website.  

On the dawn of the first evening, participants gathered at restaurant nestled within the red-bricked factory area in Tampere’s city center. Amidst clinking glasses and candlelight, conversations flowed freely. In a studious and friendly atmosphere, these 2 days were filled with fruitful exchanges and exciting discussions. Great start for the four years to come!