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Unlocking the innovative capacity of multidisciplinary structural biology-driven research in Crete

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High-impact structural biology research in Crete

The Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) in Crete has consistently demonstrated its capacity for excellence in structural biology research and innovation. An EU initiative helped to boost its international competitiveness and innovative capacity.

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IMBB, part of the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), considers structural biology research as a key thematic priority. To create a multidisciplinary research platform for established and emerging techniques in structural biology, it must reinforce staff competence and innovative capacities. IMBB must also sustain and enhance integration into the European Research Area (ERA), and actively contribute to strengthening innovative structural biology-based initiatives in Europe. With this in mind, the EU-funded INNOVCRETE (Unlocking the innovative capacity of multidisciplinary structural biology-driven research in Crete) project set out to establish an environment for high-profile structural biology research in Crete, sustain scientific and technological excellence, and enhance the innovative capacity of biomedicine/biology, biotechnology and biomaterials research in Crete. INNOVCRETE provided access to state-of-the-art structural biology for the benefit of academia and SMEs. It provided equipment and expertise in several areas: biological small angle X-ray scattering; macromolecular X-ray crystallography; biological/biomolecular imaging; physicochemical infrastructure; protein production, physicochemical characterisation and high-throughput crystallisation; and molecular modelling. Workshops, conferences and exchanges, in partnership with leading academic organisations and SMEs, promoted and developed innovative, integrated approaches to structural biology. They also established interdisciplinary network activities across Europe. The project promoted excellence in skills development and encouraged cross-border performance of research initiatives. It enhanced the innovation capacity of FORTH and Crete overall. This was done through efficient intellectual property rights (IPR) management mechanisms, training in IPR and innovation management, and the creation of a portfolio of exploitable results and infrastructures. INNOVCRETE attracted experienced and early-stage researchers and helped retain some of the most innovative and creative structural and molecular biology professionals in Crete. It achieved scientific breakthroughs that will spread the benefits of innovation across the ERA through strong links to scientific communities. Thanks to INNOVCRETE, IMBB is fast becoming a hub of structural biology within the ERA, providing researchers in Crete access to an integrated infrastructure of cutting-edge technology and scientific expertise.

Keywords

Structural biology, Crete, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, INNOVCRETE

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