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Better Together

Ten European life science institutes have joined forces as part of a new alliance called EU-Life, ScienceInsider reports. The group launched earlier this week with a meeting at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona. According to its co-founders, EU-Life aims to draw postdocs to Europe from emerging countries and to maintain Europe's competitiveness in the sciences.

"In Europe, there are institutes which are comparable in quality and success to the best American institutes," Luis Serrano, the director of the CRG and an EU-Life cofounder, says.

At the meeting — which Jo Bury, another EU-Life co-founder who is from the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, tells ScienceInsider was a sort of "acid test" for how the alliance might progress — people from the various institutes shared their experiences with issues ranging from human resources to technology transfer to translational research.

EU-Life, ScienceInsider adds, plans to develop benchmarks and standards for European science. "For example, EU-Life members already help foreign students with accommodation and paperwork, Serrano says; by setting the example they will try to make that standard practice for other institutes as well," it adds.