The third retreat of the ECTS Academy was held in the Marina of Palese, on the north coast of the city of Bari, from the 6th to 8th September 2018. The ECTS Academy welcomed seven new members who presented their current basic, translational and clinical research projects. Existing members of the Academy also presented SNAP presentations of their research, which together opened vast and constructive collaborative discussions. Similar to past retreats, the Academy reflected on the 2018 ECTS New Investigator conference program from Valencia, and discussed the forthcoming 2019 ECTS congress to be held in Budapest. Action groups were formulated for the New Investigator Seminar, Mentoring Session, and Poster Tours, as well as the Transgenic Mouse Working Group and the charity event, with much excitement and enthusiasm for these future activities. The Academy also discussed and planned for other initiatives beyond the conference program including the ERC webinars, the mentoring program, the newly launched ECTS Academy website, as well as outreach to sister societies of the ECTS. During this retreat, the ECTS Academy also welcomed informative and insightful presentations from Dr Marie-Noëlle Horcajada from the Nestle Research Center, Dr Giuseppe Perale from IBI and Dr Vincent Stadelmann from Scanco Medical. The ECTS Academy are very grateful to our generous supporters the ECTS, Amgen, AgNovos, Scanco Medical and Vito Lorusso for supporting this productive meeting. .