Brussels, 05 Nov 2003
Europe's Nordic countries are to launch a 'Nordic centre of excellence programme in molecular medicine' aimed at strengthening cooperation in the region.
The virtual network will be launched on 7 November, and will receive funding amounting to nine million Danish Kroner (around 1.2 million euro) annually, over a five year period, from the Nordic Medical Research Councils and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
'The basic idea is to support virtual centres of excellence,' Teresa Karlsson from the programme's secretariat told CORDIS News.
It was thought that molecular medicine was an appropriate field for enhancing collaboration because it is an area in which the Nordic countries are particularly strong, explained Ms Karlsson. 'The Nordic countries are not large, but we have common diseases. [We] could be even better if we joined forces,' she added.
Projects funded under the new initiative will have to involve research teams from at least three Nordic countries. Third country entities are welcome to participate, but will not receive funding from the programme.
Together, the institutes will form a virtual centre with common objectives. Funding may be used to finance fellowships for visiting professors, post docs and PhD students, and to cover management and coordination costs. Additional funding for research training may become available in the future.
Asked whether the initiative introduces the danger of Nordic countries reducing collaboration with external countries and becoming isolated from the rest of Europe, Ms Karlsson replied: 'I don't know that that would be a problem. We are already cooperating with other countries, and there is too little cooperation between Nordic countries.'
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