The INTERBIO project, in the frame of the INTERREG IVB South West Europe programme, took the challenging objective of acting through three important and complementary vectors, in the spirit of the Lisbon strategy for turning Europe into a knowledge-based society. As such, the three main vectors are i) the establishment of collaborations to promote interdisciplinarity in the field of biosciences and the associated technologies, ii) the shared use of existing technology platforms and the common development of specialized equipment needed in life sciences and, iii) contribute more directly to the economical development of South West Europe, by taking actions in technology transfer processes.
Among these three vectors, for this editorial, I chose to focus on the first one - interdisciplinarity in research, a cornerstone in biosciences research, and whose success within Interbio is well documented by the thirteen on-going projects, covering areas from RNA biochemistry in bacteria and plants, to chemical catalysis, passing through nanobiotechnology, chemical and structural biology and human diseases. These projects involve at least two laboratories from two different partners or associated partners, and may lead to further fruitful collaborations within Interbio or other transnational programs. It is also worth mentioning that these projects constitute an excellent way to training our PhD students and post-docs, together with the remaining Interbio teaching initiatives (Workshops, Summer Schools, etc). In a time in which European economy is in a turmoil, Interbio is an example to be continued putting together the three main ways to accomplish the Lisbon agenda, namely fundamental scientific research combined with technology transfer.
Miguel S. Teixeira, Full Professor at ITQB-UNL
Coordinator of Interbio Lisbon