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10 Years of MCAA: Past, Present, and Future

By Cathrine Terro.

Early-Stage Researchers Cathrine Terro (ESR 6) and Lorenzo Martello (ESR 8) met at the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) Annual Conference this month!

Reflections on a Decade

The Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) has marked a significant milestone as it celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Annual Conference held from 14th to 16th March 2024 at the Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca in Milan. The event served as a platform for scholars, researchers, and professionals to gather and reflect on a decade of scientific excellence, collaboration, and innovation.

At the heart of the conference was the theme "10 Years of MCAA: Past, Present & Future," capturing the association's journey since its initiation. Over the years, the MCAA has played a pivotal role in fostering connections among Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellows, alumni, and researchers.

Through discussions, attendees shared stories of breakthroughs, challenges faced by MCAA alumni, and the societal impact of MSCA projects.

Looking ahead, participants engaged in visionary dialogues exploring how the association can continue to empower researchers and address global challenges in an ever-evolving scientific landscape.

Conference Overview
The opening ceremony set an inspiring tone for the conference, featuring speeches and reflections on MCAA's evolution. Throughout the event, plenary sessions delved into topics such as: Shaping the future of European R & I, The Value and Future of Alumni Organisations, and Reflections on the past 10 years providing a comprehensive overview of MCAA's impact and aspirations.

Parallel sessions offered a diverse array of topics, including Narrative CVs, Experiences of MSCA fellows outside Europe, Achieving inclusive family and career balance, Funding opportunities within MSCA doctoral networks, Science communication, and Ethics in research. Such rich discussions facilitated knowledge sharing and interdisciplinary collaboration, highlighting the breadth and depth of expertise within the MCAA community.

Who attended?
The conference boasted an extensive turnout, with over 465 registrations, including 320 onsite participants. As a new member of the MCAA, I had the privilege to foster new connections and network with fellow attendees, comprising academics, industry professionals, and introduce our FoodTraNet project and my research work being done at the Jožef Stefan Institute and MPŠ.

Final Thoughts
What distinguished this conference was its emphasis on more than just presentations; it was about fostering meaningful connections, igniting innovation, and leaving a lasting impact. Against the backdrop of Milan's vibrant ambiance, attendees were not only intellectually stimulated but also immersed in the cultural delights of the city. For those planning to visit Milan in the future, I recommend trying the Panzerotti while having a walk along landmarks in Piazza Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Panzerotto

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