Access to Cutting Edge Imaging Technologies in Europe

Imaging techniques from microscopy to computer tomography are key tools for all life scientists to understand living systems. The availability of cutting edge imaging technologies is becoming a critical factor for success in science and human health care, but access to advanced technology expertise in imaging is often limited. Euro-BioImaging, a project on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), aims to provide scientists throughout Europe with open access to state-of-the-art imaging technologies at all levels of biological and biomedical research, from bench to bedside. On December 1st 2010 the project started with an initial 3-year preparatory phase, which is funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.

"The coordinated and harmonised deployment of imaging infrastructure under the Euro-BioImaging umbrella significantly addresses the fragmentation of such efforts currently present in Europe and will facilitate the translation from basic results to medical applications," says Stefan Schönberg from the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR), scientific coordinator for medical imaging, who is based at the Medical Faculty Mannheim.

In its preparatory phase Euro-BioImaging will develop a plan to construct and operate a set of complementary and strongly interlinked imaging infrastructure facilities. This plan will be based on a comprehensive assessment of researchers' needs in terms of access, service, and training. Euro-BioImaging will also establish the legal, governmental and financial framework for such infrastructures, and seek agreements with funding bodies. Eligibility criteria for participating facilities will be defined, an independent evaluation panel will be established, and a call for applications will be announced.

"Euro-BioImaging will support research, training and innovation in biological and biomedical imaging on a pan-European level, and provide a clear path of access to imaging technologies for every biomedical scientist in Europe," says Jan Ellenberg from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), scientific coordinator for biological imaging.

At the kick-off meeting on January 17th 2011 Euro-BioImaging has assembled its 39 core partners to set the course for a successful accomplishment of the first year's project goals. The focus will be on the consultation with stakeholders and the evaluation of European researchers' demands for imaging infrastructure.

For further information, please visit:
http://www.eurobioimaging.eu

About Euro-BioImaging
Euro-BioImaging is one of 10 Biological and Medical Sciences Projects included in the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). It is scientifically coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research, EIBIR (Medical Imaging) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL (Biological Imaging).

The Euro-BioImaging Preparatory Phase consortium comprises 39 core partners and more than 180 associate partner institutions from 24 countries. The broad interest in this research infrastructure even at an early stage of the project clearly indicates the pan-European support for the vision of Euro-BioImaging.

About EIBIR
The European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) is a non-profit limited liability company that was founded in 2006 by the European Society of Radiology (ESR), dedicated to the co-ordination of research. EIBIR has the aim of co-ordinating and supporting the development of biomedical imaging technologies and the dissemination of knowledge with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. The platform supports networking activities in research and is key to spreading good practice, promoting common initiatives and interoperability in the field of biomedical imaging research. This will generate critical mass and help coordinate research into new instrumentation, new methods, concepts and technologies. EIBIR currently has over 280 member institutions, two thirds of which are made up by clinical departments and one third by basic science laboratories. EIBIR has six shareholder organisations in addition to ESR: CIRSE; ESMRMB, EANM, EFOMP, COCIR, and EORTC.

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