Progress in life sciences is increasingly dependent on research and development in Computacional Biology. In recent years, this research area underwent major growth at an international scale not hitherto paralleled in Portugal. Because biotechnology is an inherently interdisciplinary field, it is notoriously dependent on networks of collaboration (Powell et al 1996). Indeed, most researchers involved in new inventions in biotechnology can be linked via a network of scientific collaboration (Fleming, 2004). As biotechnology increasingly adopts an open-science paradigm, successful research depends not only on individual know-how, but also on collective know-whom.
With these facts in mind, the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and the Fundação Portugal Telecom decided to promote a Computational Biology Collaboratorium at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, in cooperation with several national and international institutions, and running in close interplay with a PhD Program in Computational Biology.
The chief aim of the Computational Biology Collaboratorium is to establish, enable, and foster an international, collaborative network of associated institutions. It is an open host organization designed to enable intense cooperation amongst researchers from national and international institutions: the center hub of a collaborative network of research institutions. Its chief aims are to provide suitable facilities for visiting scientists, and hosting informatics technology to enable continuing off-site collaboration and research in Mathematical and Computational Biology.
The Collaboratorium will operate in close synergy with the PhD Program in Computational Biology . We expect that some of the visiting faculty of the PhD program may also participate in collaboratorium projects, and vice versa. Furthermore, the PhD program will help identify research areas in Mathematical and Computational Biology that are not yet sufficiently developed in Portugal. Reciprocally, we expect the collaboration network fostered by the collaboratorium, will facilitate the insertion of the newly formed Computational Biology PhDs within the Portuguese research and technology communities.
The Collaboratorium in Computational Biology is due to start its activities on October 2005.
Fleming, L. "Perfecting Cross-Pollination." Harvard Business Review 82, no. 9 (September 2004): 22-24.
Powell, W., J. Owen-Smith, D. White, K. Kopout (1996). "Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: networks of learning in Biotechnology". Administrative Science Quarterly 41(1):116-45.