The ASFORCE kick-off meeting (first Project Management Team meeting) took place in Lisbon, Portugal at the Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMV-UTL), on October 22nd – 23rd, 2012. Forty two representatives of the eighteen partners in the project attended the meeting which aimed at:

  1. General discussion of the project,
  2. Completion of details for the development of the work-plan and
  3. Organization of collaborative strategies and procedures among partners for the development of the tasks planned.

After the welcome address by Prof. Luis Tavares (President, FMV-UTL) and an overview on the implementation and developmental strategies for the ASFORCE project by the Coordinator (Prof. Carlos Martins), Theme Leaders introduced the specific objectives, general strategies, and collaborations needed for the development of the work plan. Participants of different Themes met during separate sessions to discuss in more detail and to conclude on the work to be pursued.

The Project Manager, Dr. Paula Viana, addressed to the participants some relevant legal and financial provisions of the FP7 model grant agreement and its application under the ASFORCE project, that were discussed in detail.

Work-package and Task leaders under the different Themes were identified and conclusions on the strategy for the work development and on collaborative agreements were presented by Theme Leaders and discussed during a final joint meeting.

Besides having had the opportunity to share work experiences, delegates had the occasion to socialize on a friendly atmosphere around relaxing coffee breaks and meals at FMV-UTL and during a conference dinner.