European biomedical imaging centers to offer free access for proof-of-concept studies

As part of the pan-European Euro-Bioimaging project, more than 50 biomedical imaging centers across 16 countries in Europe are offering free access in 2012 to such technologies as phase-contrast imaging; high-throughput, high-definition microscopy; mesoscopic imaging; and correlative light-electron microscopy. The effort hopes to aid the development of new techniques through proof-of-concept studies.

The Euro-Bioimaging consortium has just issued an open call for users to take part in the proof-of-concept projects. The deadline for proposals is November 15, 2011, and the scheme is open to any applicant, from Ph.D. students up to senior researchers, at any university or public research center in Europe.

Proposals will then be evaluated by a panel of reviewers composed of consortium experts, who will select suitable projects. After that, the responsible heads of the participating imaging facilities will decide which projects to run at which sites. The proof-of-concept studies are then scheduled to run between January and June 2012.

Among the many centers taking part are the Life Imaging Center (LIC) at Albert-Ludwigs-University (Freiburg, Germany) and the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College London (London, England).

According to the Euro-Bioimaging consortium, the proof-of-concept studies will identify potential bottlenecks in providing access to both basic and advanced imaging technologies, and be used to test future access policies for the different technologies.

The Euro-Bioimaging project is currently in its initial “preparatory” phase, which runs until 2013. A “construction” phase that should see either new facilities built, or major upgrades to existing facilities, is scheduled for 2014 through 2017, and that is set to be followed by an “operation” phase from 2017 onwards.

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