26 July 2007
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) has announced that Australia will become the first non-European, associate member. The EMBL is a publicly funded research institute supported by 19 member states, with centres in Heidelberg and Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton (UK), Grenoble (France), and Monterotondo (Italy).
Australia’s membership will start in January 2008, for an initial period of seven years. The move is intended to facilitate mutually beneficial interactions between the scientific communities in Europe and Australia, with Australian researchers from major research institutions joining EMBL centres, and the EMBL helping Australian partners to develop improved research infrastructure and training opportunities.The Australian centres involved in the collaboration are Monash University, The University of Western Australia, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Additional funding will be provided by the Australian National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
EMBL Director General Iain Mattaj commented: "In recent years Australia has become a central player in the landscape of molecular biology. With its special expertise, for example in the fields of medical epidemiology and stem cell research, it will be an excellent complement to EMBL's focus on basic research in molecular biology" (see press release).