Progress in life sciences is increasingly dependent on research and development in Computational 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 Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento decided to promote the FLAD Computational Biology Collaboratorium at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, running in close interplay with a PhD Program in Computational Biology. The Fundação Portugal Telecom is also a partner in this endeavor, sponsoring some of the collaboratorium's telecommunication needs.
The chief aim of the FLAD Computational Biology Collaboratorium is to establish, enable, and foster an international, collaborative network of associated institutions and scientists. 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 operates in close synergy with the PhD Program in Computational Biology . Faculty of the PhD program are encouraged to stay longer periods of time to participate in work groups and collaborative projects hosted by the collaboratorium. Likewise, visitors to the collaboratorium are encouraged to give seminars and interact with students and faculty of the PhD Program. Furthermore, the PhD program will help identify research areas in Mathematical and Computational Biology that are not yet sufficiently developed in Portugal. Reciprocally, the growing 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 FLAD Computational Biology Collaboratorium started its official activities on April 2005. Please visit our list of activities and growing research network. To apply for a collaboration grant at the collaboratorium, visit our applications section.
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.