Bio-imaging research infrastructure gains industry board

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An industry group that includes members from Leica, Nikon, Zeiss, FEI, Olympus, SVI and Photometrics has been founded as part of the upcoming European research infrastructure for imaging, Euro-BioImaging. The group aims to facilitate interaction between the imaging industry and its academic users to boost innovation in biomedical sciences.

Euro-BioImaging, which is currently in its interim phase after completing a four-year preparatory phase, will be composed of imaging facilities, called Nodes, distributed throughout Europe. These facilities will grant life science researchers access to state-of-the-art imaging instruments, as well as hosting training activities.

Christoph Thumser from Leica, the first chair of the board, said that ‘imaging companies are very motivated to establish closer interaction with users and to contribute to training activities, ensuring the best use of instruments’, adding that all other companies from the field of bio-imaging and medical imaging are welcome to join the board.

‘Euro-BioImaging Nodes are for us the perfect test sites for novel instruments and technologies – their highly-skilled technical staff can test robustness and technical operation of the instruments while working on a wide range of samples and research applications from visiting Euro-BioImaging users,’ Peter Drent from Nikon, vice-chair of the board, added.

Plans for establishment of Euro-BioImaging came from the scientific community in Europe but are now adapted by governments of 17 European countries and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), all of which are interested in its implementation and construction. It is expected that the first generation of Nodes is selected next year.

Jan Ellenberg from EMBL, the scientific coordinator of Euro-BioImaging’s preparatory phase, emphasised that ‘it is very important that researchers and imaging facility staff have a clear communication line to a wide range of companies in the field, because their ability to do research depends on the availability of suitable products, be it lenses, lasers or dyes, or large instruments like the most advanced super resolution or electron microscopes’.

The Board is now actively inviting other bio- and medical- imaging companies to join this open initiative.

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