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Core for Life, a new European alliance in biomedical research

Since technologies turn over very fast and become more expensive, no individual research laboratory can master all technologies and no institute can house all kind of platforms and equipment. The way forward is to set up a dialogue with peers. This is the starting point of Core for Life, the new pan-European excellence alliance for Core Facilities. This new alliance will allow the partners' research institutes to have a forum for scientists and to boost scientific collaboration and new interdisciplinary projects.

The main goals of Core for Life are: to identify and share good practices and procedures, to provide specialized training, to explore and validate new technologies, to share equipment and services, and to engage European and national funding bodies in a dialogue to increase funding opportunities for Core Facilities.

"At VIB the core facilities play a crucial role in enabling our scientists to achieve ambitious research goals in a cost effective way. By making use of the suite of state-of-the art core facilities our researchers plug in on sophisticated technologies to execute their interdisciplinary projects. As technologies become more expensive and short-lived the next step to stay at the forefront is the leverage of capabilities through strategic alliances where platform sharing is key. I am delighted that Core for Life enables this collaboration", states Geert Van Minnebruggen, Head of the Core Facilities at VIB (Belgium).

"Research institutes today have to decide on a few technological areas in which it will strive to be at the cutting edge and commit a continuous investment in order to stay there, and need to guarantee access to other platforms that cannot be provided at an equal level of sophistication in-house. By sharing platforms and expertise across institutes, Core for Life will answer this need, and at the same time deliver integrated core facility expertise to the scientific community. Together we will co-develop new models of managing core facilities, and provide high-level training to the next generation of scientists.", adds Doris Meder, Head of the Core Facilities at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona (Spain).

Geert Van Minnebruggen in Belgium and Doris Meder in Spain were the initiators of this initiative, which now counts some of the most important research institutes among its members. Core for Life starts with a pilot group of partners but aims, in the long run, to translate this initiative to the whole Core Facility Community. In time, Core for Life aims to provide training to the next generation of Core Facility scientists.


Contact: Kris Van der Beken
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)

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