The European Commission, through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is funding Bio-NMR, a new project for supporting research infrastructures in the provision of transnational access and technological advancements in bio-NMR.
The Bio-NMR project pools pan-European resources of the most relevant bio-NMR infrastructures. Bio-NMR coordinates 19 partners: 11 transnational access-providing infrastructures, plus several top laboratories across Europe carrying out world-class research advancing NMR methodology in order to make access to NMR instruments more efficient and of continuously increasing quality.
Bio-NMR aims to complete the structuring of the Biological NMR infrastructures, their user community and biological NMR researchers in Europe into a coherent research community prepared to tackle scientific and biomedical challenges of increasing complexity at the forefront of research worldwide. The structuring effect will be achieved by the provision of transnational access, the solicitation and expansion of the pre-existing strong user group, the development of new research tools towards increasing the quality and quantity of access and, importantly, the stimulation of a broad range of networking activities linking stakeholders to clearly define the needs of the European Research Area (ERA) and to develop the long-term sustainability of NMR RIs.
In the past two decades spectacular insights into the basic principles of Life have been obtained from paradigmatic high-resolution structural investigations providing a rational basis for biological experiments. NMR is an indispensable enabling technology for determining such structures and their interactions in solution, the immobilized state and living cells. The power of NMR to link structural, dynamic, kinetic and thermodynamic information makes it an essential component of cutting edge research in medicine and biology.
Bio-NMR pools pan-European resources of the most relevant bio-NMR infrastructures. Eleven partners will provide access to researchers involved in structural biology following the EU-NMR I3 project. This initiative successfully responded to the increasing demand for access since 1994. Seven other excellent partners, including the leading NMR manufacturer, Bruker, are included in the new consortium. Jointly, they will develop methods aimed at pushing the frontiers of biological NMR and improving the quality of access to allow users to tackle ever more challenging goals in cellular structural biology.
Finally, all nineteen partners, including a company specialized in NMR technology dissemination, are involved in the networking activities. These include (1) knowledge transfer among consortium members, Bio-NMR users and other NMR researchers, (2) the demonstration to biologists of the potential of structural biology with NMR, and lowering the barriers to their becoming users, (3) interactions with industrial and medical communities, and (4) raising awareness of the impact of the results achieved through Bio-NMR for society, funding agencies and governing bodies with the final aim of developing a business plan for self-sustainability.
The overall project and its management have been conceived in coordination with INSTRUCT, which will contribute to the cultural frame and networking activities of Bio-NMR.