Belgium joins Euro-BioImaging ERIC with a Node

December 19, 2023
Flanders BioImaging Governance Nodes

The Euro-BioImaging Board is proud to announce that Belgium has joined Euro-BioImaging ERIC as a full member. Since 2019, Belgium has participated in Euro-BioImaging as an observer. The change to full member status is a strong endorsement of our infrastructure and makes Belgium the 18th member of Euro-BioImaging ERIC. Belgium comes on board with an outstanding Mixed Node, Flanders BioImaging, which was positively reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board in the 2022 Call for Nodes. We are delighted to welcome Belgium as a full member country and are very excited about our new Node, Flanders BioImaging. We extend a warm welcome to our Belgian colleagues! 

Belgium’s membership in Euro-BioImaging ERIC has received strong support from the Flemish Department of Economy, Science and Innovation and the  Belgian Science Policy Office, responsible for Belgium’s participation in the ESFRI Roadmap.

Michele Oleo, Department of Economy, Science and Innovation Flanders, has been actively involved in Euro-BioImaging since the preparatory phase. She commented that “Euro-BioImaging ERIC is undoubtedly one of the strongholds in the European research infrastructure landscape. I am delighted that our Node will be part of this scientific community.”

Laurent Ghys,of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) who has also been following the membership process for many years, explained, “It was a long and difficult process, but we are very happy to finally achieve full member status. Belgium has been active in Euro-BioImaging for a very long time, and full membership now gives access to Euro-BioImaging to the whole Belgian science community - opening the way to new collaborations and possible future Nodes.

Belgium is Euro-BioImaging’s 18th member and it joins our infrastructure with an outstanding Node. Flanders BioImaging is an inter-university consortium dedicated to biomedical imaging and advanced light microscopy, that was set up to integrate, optimize, and coordinate available imaging infrastructure in Flanders, facilitating access for external users.

About our new Flanders BioImaging Node

The Flanders BioImaging Node brings together 9 excellent facilities, hosted at 6 different institutions - KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, University of Hasselt, University of Brussels, University of Ghent, and the VIB.

The Flanders BioImaging Node will offer imaging services across multiple scales and domains, combining biological and biomedical imaging techniques -  from the molecular scale, via small and large animal models to human biomedical imaging. This would include advising on study design, novel modes of access (e.g. sample shipping), the use of novel techniques, and user training in all aspects from data collection to analysis and interpretation.

In addition, the consortium facilitates multi-site access for larger projects that may use several core facilities, and provides common solutions for quality and data management. Of note is the dedicated support provided by the Node on big data management, cross domain metadata standardization efforts, access to high performance computing, and focus on making image data Open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Sebastian Munck, Flanders Bioimaging Promotor, explains, “BioImaging tools now allow the discovery of the processes of life and disease across an extensive range of scales, from nanometers to whole organism phenotyping. In a world of rapidly evolving Bioimaging technologies where novel image analysis schemes and data management fuel scientific discovery. Flanders BioImaging, an interuniversity consortium dedicated to biomedical imaging and advanced light microscopy, was conceived to address this challenge and demand. Flanders BioImaging consists of core facilities at 6 institutions across Flanders, Belgium, and manages research infrastructure in the microscopy/biological imaging and preclinical/biomedical imaging domains. It aims to integrate, optimize, rationalize, and coordinate available imaging infrastructure in Flanders, facilitating access to external users. Flanders BioImaging is excited to engage with Euro-BioImaging and welcome users to enable the best science at the heart of Europe.”

Christopher Cawthorne, Flanders Bioimaging Co-ordinator, says: “On behalf of our consortium, we are delighted to join the Euro-BioImaging family as a full Node. Our Node is very much focused on providing access not only to over €40 million of state-of-the-art imaging infrastructure at our constituent core facilities, but also to specific ‘spearpoint’ applications at each site that represent unique and well-developed technologies with a wide range of applications. With the dedicated and expert staff ready to apply these techniques that form the bedrock of our offering, we hope to enable a wide range of long-term and fruitful collaborations with international users via our Node – we are very much looking forward to hosting our first users!”

We really look forward to working with our Belgian colleagues to strengthen collaboration and can’t wait to receive the first user applications to our new Node!

Flanders BioImaging:

Flanders BioImaging

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