#ENRIITCyourCoffee Season 2: Episode 1 “A brave new world – moving to remote access and training”

Season 2 of the #ENRIITCyourCoffee series got off to a flying start this afternoon with a lively session led by Claudia Alén Amaro (Senior Project Manager for Instruct-ERIC) and Johanna Bischof (Scientific Project Manager for Euro-BioImaging).

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research infrastructures supported their users’ research by providing them open access to their facilities’ and service providers instruments and providing hands-on training. However with the current restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they have had to be innovative in their ways of working to provide users with remote access and coordinate the many logistical challenges that come along with it.

The event started with Claudia giving an introduction to the Instruct-ERIC services and techniques. She outlined what the pre-pandemic working conditions were like and then how the landscape has changed with the need for remote working. Before the pandemic, Instruct-ERIC offered a plethora of hands-on training. At the start of the pandemic, many training sessions were postponed, but they have now been fully transferred to remote training sessions. Claudia showed the group an example of a remote training setup with four cameras from inside a laboratory in the Astbury Centre (UK). She also talked about the Instruct-ERIC ‘Resource Centre’ that was charted for their community, amongst other initiatives to address the new remote working conditions.

Via a smooth segway of cross-discipline similarities, Johanna Bischof from Euro-BioImaging then took the floor. She started with an overview of Euro-BioImaging services, and noted that training and access to their facilities is a large part of their offering. Similarly to Claudia’s experience at Instruct-ERIC, Euro-BioImaging has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and the need for a pivot to remote access became clear. Euro-BioImaging now offers full service remote access. Again, there was a need for a sophisticated film setup for the training.

Johanna presented a number of elements that were crucial for Euro-BioImaging’s transition to remote working. Industry partners exchange of experience was critical, as was collecting training resources, sharing experience between industry and acedia, setting up an expert working group and sharing experiences across domains.

Following the presentation there was an interactive session with a series of fascinating questions and comments from attendees. Topics included the changing nature and volume of workloads as a result of the pivot to remote working. There was also discussion about the differences between face-to-face and online training, and the long-term opportunities (and challenges) once travel restrictions are lifted. A question from another attendee sparked a conversation about sample preparation handling and logistics in a remote context. There were also questions on the new technical developments in improving control software for remote operation of instruments by scientific staff and users.

In summary, this first #ENRIITCyourCoffee episode of Season 2 was a insightful, stimulating and engaging session. We then moved over to the LinkedIn group “ENRIITCyourNetwork” to continue the discussion.

The next #ENRIITCyourCoffee session will be on Thursday 4 February 2021, hosted by Ilaria Nardello on the topic of “Portals of opportunities for technology/knowledge transfer between industries and RIs”.

More about Season 2 of #ENRIITCyourCoffee

Season 2 of #ENRIITCyourCoffee is dedicated to our more than 60 Associate members, who will take a seat at the coffee table to present their upcoming activities and/or address current key topics.

The host(s) of the sessions will present their material, and then the floor will be opened up for the participants to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences. The sessions are 30 minutes and aim to give the participants a quick glance into the Associates’ activities and provide a platform for best practice exchange among our Network members. Are you interested in hosting an episode? We’d love to hear from you!

Watch the episode below!