NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Commission and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have signed a memorandum of understanding to continue their ongoing partnership to support and develop Europe's life sciences research efforts.
The MOU was formally signed today at EMBL's main lab in Heidelberg, Germany.
Under the agreement, the EC and EMBL have agreed to consolidate and continue to develop the European Research Area, particularly in the areas of research programming, training and the mobility of researchers, research infrastructures, managing intellectual property, and international collaboration.
The EC is EMBL's largest external funder, providing it with €12.4 million ($17.3 million) in support in 2010. The two entities have collaborated since 1995.
"EMBL's excellent research is fundamental to our understanding of life itself and will underpin many of the advances we will see in medicine and other domains in the years to come," Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said in a statement.
EMBL was formed to promote molecular biology across Europe, which it does by supporting basic molecular biology research and new technologies, providing facilities, services, and training, and by providing technology transfer support.
Governed by a council and supported by 20 member states, EMBL has major facilities in Heidelberg and Hamburg, Germany; Hinxton, UK; Grenoble, Switzerland; and in Monterotondo, Italy.
"As the European intergovernmental institution for molecular life sciences, EMBL has extensive scientific and technical expertise coupled with years of success empowering life scientists from European countries to conduct cutting-edge research at state-of-the art research infrastructures," said EMBL Director General Iain Mattaj.