Slovenia joins Euro-BioImaging ERIC!

May 6, 2020

Imaging technologies have a central role in driving fundamental research and applied innovations in both biological and biomedical research. These technologies help a very broad user and research community to reach breakthrough biological discoveries and to proceed with translation into innovations in the fields of medicine, diagnostics, drug development, biotechnology, and molecular ecology. The Euro-BioImaging ERIC is a consortium of 14 European countries and EMBL that provide life scientists with open access to a broad range of technologies and resources in biological and biomedical imaging. The Euro-BioImaging Board is proud to announce that Slovenia has joined the Euro-BioImaging ERIC and extends a warm welcome to their newest member! 

Since 2014, Slovenia has built a streamlined, state-of-the-art national network of twelve biomedical imaging centers, most of them located in a close proximity in the capital city of Ljubljana. This national “node”, organized in a consortium SiMBioN (Slovenian Multimodal Bioimaging Node) covers all light and electron microscopy methods in live science, NMR imaging of both humans and small animals, and also various analytical methods showing distribution of elements in various tissues. To increase collaboration with other European research centers and contribute to successful solving of research problems, Slovenia applied for membership of the Euro-BioImaging ERIC, with strong support from the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. 

As an official member country, Slovenia will be able to send delegates to the Euro-BioImaging Board and vote on important issues to the future of research infrastructures across Europe. It will also be able to promote the Slovenian biological and biomedical research infrastructures within this European network, and apply for Node status. 

Most Euro-BioImaging services are provided by Euro-BioImaging Nodes, which are internationally renowned imaging facilities in the member countries.  By coordinating and integrating their efforts, Nodes achieve and maintain leadership in imaging technologies in the global research landscape. The Node community also benefits from services such as training and quality assurance under the coordination of Euro-BioImaging. 

Slovenia plans to apply for Node status in the call for Nodes that is currently open within Euro-BioImaging, as Peter Veranič, Head of Institute of Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, explains.  “With its unique combination of biomedical imaging infrastructures, Slovenia is able to offer equipment and methodological expertise to both science and industry on a European level. The access of complementary methods concentrated in such a small area allows also a joint interpretation of the results by experts in different fields from which the European community could clearly benefit.”

While access to the imaging infrastructures within the Euro-BioImaging ERIC is open to all scientists, becoming an official member is crucial to Slovenia’s policy of increased collaboration and exchange in biomedical imaging.  “Even in the medium-term, we hope the new connections will result in establishing research partnerships that will successfully apply for European research projects and also give Slovenia the opportunity to actively contribute in planning of the European imaging infrastructure,” Peter Veranič adds. 

Slovenia will now benefit from Euro-BioImaging’s ability to leverage research funding opportunities and contribute to planning and promoting imaging technology on national, European and global agendas. In turn, Euro-BioImaging is pleased to welcome Slovenia’s excellent imaging capabilities and infrastructure. The biological and biomedical community will benefit greatly from Slovenia’s membership in Euro-BioImaging, which now includes 15 member countries and EMBL. 

Euro-BioImaging’s members now include: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, EMBL, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK, with Belgium participating as an observer.

Examples of the imaging work being done with Slovenia's biomedical imaging infrastructures. By joining Euro-BioImaging, Slovenia hopes to establish research partnerships and actively contribute to planning. Image courtesy of the Institute of Cell Biology.

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