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The Nordic EMBL Partnership: supporting national research

The partnership between EMBL and four Nordic research institutions aims to stimulate scientific exchange and inspire scientific collaborations. This year’s conference of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine included many talks by EMBL researchers and a presentation by EMBL’s Director General

Oliver Billker, Director of MIMS, is standing at the podium in front of a microphone. Behind him, a projected slide says “Welcome to Umeå University”.
Oliver Billker, Director of MIMS, at the opening of the conference of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. Credit: Nora Lehotai/MIMS

The Nordic EMBL Partnership was initiated in 2007 to connect EMBL and Nordic research institutions focusing on diverse approaches to molecular medicine, including infection biology, genomics, and translational neuroscience. Besides EMBL, the Partnership involves four Nordic nodes: the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), and the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE).

The Nordic nodes have adopted the EMBL non-tenure model, which ensures regular staff turnover. This facilitates the recruitment of young international talent, enabling them to gain expertise that can subsequently benefit other research institutions in Europe and beyond. It also gives the Nordic institutes the flexibility to adjust the focus of their research programmes over time, and helps them to advance national research, such as projects related to COVID-19.

“For EMBL these partnerships are particularly important, because they let us engage with our member states in a very intimate way. Combining EMBL’s expertise with national research strengths, we help create centres of excellence that enrich the regional, national, and ultimately the European life sciences ecosystem,” says Plamena Markova, Joint Head of Government and EU Relations at EMBL. “The Nordic EMBL Partnership is the perfect example of how EMBL can bring together countries and build bridges for talent, ideas, and resources.”

The annual conference of the Nordic EMBL Partnership is an opportunity for members to get together, exchange information across nodes, and inspire collaborations. At this year’s conference (22–25 September 2020), EMBL Director General Edith Heard welcomed participants and presented updates on EMBL’s future plans. The conference’s scientific programme comprised many talks, including several by scientists from three of EMBL’s sites. This was possible thanks to the virtual format of this year’s meeting, and reflected the interest on both sides in strengthening scientific interactions. The full report from this year’s conference is available here.

Tags: International relations, Member states, Nordic partnership

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