During the last months, our normal life has radically changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our university has been closed and in a short time, everything had to be switched to an online environment. Our Organization will continue with the journey towards the SensUs Event facing new challenges. We now have all meetings over Skype, including the weekly plenary meeting. We have noticed that Skype meetings can be chaotic and we miss the social interactions and our weekly dinner together, but at least our work can continue.
To stay visible, social media activity has been upgraded and new online initiatives have been introduced. For example, we have started an Instagram take-over by the organization to show our followers what we are up to. A SensUs quiz was launched, a Q&A session was hosted by our Chairs and even the honors program pitch has been recorded and published online! Furthermore, the recruitment of new members is in full swing; we have to get creative since we cannot contact the students by talking to them face to face.
Nobody knows how the Corona pandemic will develop in August, so the Organization is looking at alternative scenarios for the SensUs Innovations Days. The advice and opinions of our competing Teams are valuable to SensUs when making decisions. By means of questionnaires, the communication between the Teams and the SensUs Organization has been intensified to gain input and decide on new ways forward.
All international Teams have informed us that they will continue working on SensUs, but in a different way than before. Since most universities have closed their labs, the Teams now focus on the Creativity and Translation Potential award. For these awards, no lab work is needed. The contact with professionals and experts is even harder than before. However, our Teams are innovative and creative and have found new ways to remotely work as a group.
The event date is coming closer and closer, and our excitement is still rising. Every edition of SensUs is different, and this edition will certainly be unlike previous years. After the press conference of the Dutch prime minister, we were recently informed that a physical SensUs event at Eindhoven University will not be allowed in August. So now it is certain that the SensUs Innovation Days will be organized fully online. This also means that the SensUs projects that run parallel to the SensUs Innovation Days (e.g. the Venture Building Program and the High School project) will go digital. Right now we are looking at the available options and how the switch can be managed best! There are a lot of things to be looked into, for example, what digital platform are we going to use and how the program will change, but we will keep you updated as soon as we know more. Tips and feedback are always welcome!
Currently, we are looking at how we can help Teams to come in contact with our partners to get a high-value network. We already have had our Kick-off Meet the Partners which turned out to be quite successful over Skype. Now that universities are slowly opening their labs again so the work can restart, our Organization is looking into new ways to show the biosensors of the Teams to the public via a digital platform. Our aim is to make it possible for every team to share their findings.
We are all part of challenging times. In the coming weeks, we expect that it will become more clear what the digital SensUs Event will look like. We wish all our Teams the best in their SensUs work and we will keep you updated through our channels! Stay safe and let’s compete for quality of life!
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