Since June 2019, Estonia has been a prospect member state of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has now been signed between EMBL and the University of Tartu, a leading centre of research and training. The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation between EMBL and the life science research community in Estonia, building on the very successful links in the context of the prospect membership.
This MoU also formalises previous exchanges and research collaborations between the two institutions. In February 2021, EMBL and the Estonian Research Council organised a joint workshop in which many Estonian researchers were actively involved, including participants and speakers from the University of Tartu. On this occasion, EMBL Director General Edith Heard presented the next EMBL Programme, Molecules to Ecosystems, which has the aim of understanding life in its natural context. EMBL’s scientific plans for the next five years (2022–2026) is the first pan-European molecular biology programme for environmental and human health and has collaboration across disciplines and sectors at its core.
During the workshop in February, EMBL Deputy Director General Ewan Birney highlighted the work of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in human genetics and personalised medicine. Other talks by EMBL Heads of Faculty touched upon bioinformatics training opportunities and some of the themes in the new EMBL Programme. Possibilities for joint collaboration were also discussed, particularly on several of the programme’s new transversal themes, such as Human Ecosystems, Planetary Biology, Microbial Ecosystems, and Data Science.
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