NOCI-retreat 7-8 March 2019

Report NOCI-retreat 7-8 March 2019

Organized in Utrecht by Renée Moerkens (UMCG), Jens Puschhof (Hubrecht), and Jeroen Stein (LUMC).

We began our retreat on Thursday 7th of March in one of the most famous cafés of Utrecht, the Beurs, on the central square of the Neude. After a nice lunch and a proper chatting up, we walked towards our meeting location, which was situated in the city castle Oudaen: a building with a rich history, a beautiful restaurant, and its own brewery in the cellar. After the first rounds of presentations from the young academics, there was a workshop given by the start-up incubator UtrechtInc, where we learned everything about how ideas become companies, how the market works for starting companies, where to get finances, and how to progress after the initial phase. A very interesting 1:30 hr interactive presentation and discussion, from Acceleration Lead Professional Stefan Braam.

The evening consisted of an informative tour through the brewery aside a beer-tasting in Oudaen, a lovely dinner in a German cuisine, and a proper introduction in the nightlife of Utrecht, before laying ourselves to rest in the StayOkay hotel on the Neude. The next day we finished the second round of presentations from the young academics. After a lunch in the city council we did the last round. All presentations were high quality, nicely within time, properly conducted, and if there was no data yet, a clear research plan was shown. We ended the retreat by dividing the people by ‘organ’, and brainstorming in smaller groups about the projects, ideas, data and future goals. This was very well received, and many participants already planned collaborative projects during this time. All in all, the retreat of March 2019 turned out excellent for the bonding and interaction between groups.