Over the past decade significant resources have been committed to development of capacities for genomic research in Croatia. These efforts have lead to formation of the Centre for Functional Genomics of the Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, University of Zagreb. Within the national confines, Centre for Functional Genomics formed strong links with other Croatian groups interested in genomic research, as well as with recognised centres of excellence in European Union (in Scotland, Portugal and Germany), and also with the Harvard University (USA). Initially formed through common research interests, these collaborations resulted in award of several research grants from the Croatian Ministry of Science, as well as international grants with EU partners (from The British Council, Royal Society UK, The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council UK, National Institutes of Health USA and European Union). This proposal therefore seeks to strengthen and reinforce Centre for Functional Genomics of the Zagreb Medical School and its existing links with Croatian and EU centres. The timing in Croatia is now very favourable for building on recent successes that include employment of promising researchers in the field of genomics, securing substantial competitive international research funding and publication of research results in high-impact journals. Support from the European Commission to this initiative would secure further development of genomic advances in the Croatian biomedical scientific community, integration of existing capacities within the country and bolstering the links with international centres of excellence to ensure the sustainability of existing programmes. These activities could also have potential impact on local economy, social environment and health. This would result in creation of a highly competitive group of scientists from the EU convergence regions that could get involved in further applications within the EU FP7 program.
Call for proposal
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