“BritInn is a clear statement by the University of Innsbruck that the UK will remain one of our strongest and most important partner countries.”, said Rector Tilmann Märk as he inaugurated the academic network in the medieval Old Town Building Claudiana. Landesrat Bernhard Tilg honored in his welcome address the function of the University of Innsbruck as international key institution of Innsbruck and Tyrol. The Academic Director of BritInn, Sibylle Baumbach, referred in her speech to the political and academic relevance of a network between Great Britain and Austria in the face of Brexit. Deputy Head of the British Embassy in Vienna, Nerys Jones, welcomed the founding of the network.
The programme of the symposium reflected the basic ideas of BritInn: internationality and interdisciplinary. The key note speakers Brian Foster (University of Oxford, Royal Society) and Andrew Duff (President of the Spinelli Group) gave lectures on the topics "Brexit and scientific research" and “Europe without the British”.
BritInn provides funding for short stays of incoming and outgoing research staff - especially early-career researchers - to and from the University of Innsbruck to work on joint research projects and launch future collaborations. BritInn funding is open to all disciplines and assists in co-funding of joint workshops, conferences, symposia, and guest lectures. Currently scientists from the fields of botany, physics, biomedical aging research and peace and conflict research will participate in the BritInn Fellow Program in Innsbruck and will be visiting universities in the United Kingdom. The network wants to initiate new collaborations between scientists from both countries. More information and current calls are available on the network's website, www.britinn.at