Project Summary


PASSAGE is a research partnership between Central European Institute of Technology at Masaryk University (CEITEC MU), an emerging flagship research centre in Brno, Czech Republic, and VIB, an advanced biotechnological institute in Ghent, Belgium.

The main goal is to strengthen excellence and relevance of research at CEITEC MU through capitalization on the joint academic expertise and infrastructure to exploit newly emerging field of plant synthetic biology for tackling global challenges connected to sustainable agriculture and plant-based primary production.

The long-term vision of project in the second phase is to carry out joint research projects by utilising the complementary expertise of CEITEC MU and VIB to tackle fundamental problems at the intersection of several areas of plant biology that include molecular mechanisms of plant growth and development, genome structure and regulation, and plant adaptation to environmental challenges.

Picture: Scientific vision of the PASSAGE Teaming


The long-term vision and ultimate goal of PASSAGE Teaming is strengthening excellence and relevance of research at the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) at Masaryk University (MU) in Brno, Czech Republic, through joint venture with the VIB in Ghent, Belgium, an excellence-based entrepreneurial institute focused on translating basic scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications.


The project PASSAGE within Teaming Phase 2 is expected to address global societal challenges related to sustainable agriculture, such as:

  • securing food for the rapidly growing population,
  • facing the negative impact of climate change,
  • water scarcity, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and others.

The vision of PASSAGE is to advance the promising research field of synthetic biology in order to generate knowledge that will be translated into applications in plant biotechnology and create new market niches at an intersection of interdisciplinary fields. The prerequisite of this impact is clearly the excellent level of science which goes far beyond state-the-art and generate promising results.


The workflow of PASSAGE Phase 1 is centered around WP4 “Business planning” which is a destination for major outputs of other work packages and sets out to integrate them into a comprehensive Business Plan. However, there are six work packages.

WP1 – Research and innovation agenda

  1. To define detailed research agenda for the Phase 2.
  2. To re-iterate the research agenda in light of market structure and opportunities.
  3. To identify the expertise and equipment present and needed for implementation of the research agenda at the partner institutions.
  4. To identify researchers capable of filling the skill and expertise gaps at the CoE and negotiate the conditions of their involvement in Phase 2.

WP2 – CoE Governance Upgrades

  1. To develop actions making CEITEC MU a friendly and attractive employer acknowledged by the award of HR Excellence in Research Logo.
  2. To introduce open science and innovation principles into the strategic framework of the CoE.
  3. To create a framework for the efficient operation of the CoE in Phase 2.

WP3 – Exploitation Framework

  1. To identify stakeholders from the application sector who might benefit from the CoE establishment.
  2. To contact these stakeholders and involve them in Phase 2 preparation and operation.
  3. To reinforce the relevance of the CoE for regional socio-economic development.
  4. To strengthen innovation management and technology transfer support at CEITEC MU.

WP4 – Business Planning

  1. To explore the feasibility of Phase 2 operation with regard to market structure and opportunities.
  2. To prepare a detailed budget for Phase 2 implementation.
  3. To integrate the outcomes of the 1-year action into a complex yet comprehensive business plan.

WP5 – Dissemination & Communication

  1. To help shape regional, national, and European policies to accommodate synthetic biology innovations and to inform public of its benefits.
  2. To reinforce CEITEC MU as a community.
  3. To shape a joint and comprehensive dissemination and communication action plan for Phase 2.

WP6 – Management

  1. To deliver the project outcomes on time, on the budget, within the planned scope and high quality.
  2. To establish joint communication framework between CEITEC MU and VIB, which will enable efficient implementation of Phase 2.
  3. To monitor, minimize, and counter risks emerging during the project implementation.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 763672.