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Researchers from iNANO and the Department of Chemistry establish research networks across continents

Researchers from Aarhus University look forward to building bridges with Japanese and Israeli researchers within molecular science, biomolecular design, and artificial biology. With grants from the Ministry of Education and Research, activities can be established that can kick-start the budding research collaboration across continents.

2020.11.20 | Lise Refstrup Linnebjerg Pedersen

Associate Professor Alexander Zelikin (left) and Associate Professor Frans Mulder (right) receive grants from the Ministry of Education and Research to establish research collaborations with researchers from Israel and Japan, respectively.

Associate Professor Alexander Zelikin (left) and Associate Professor Frans Mulder (right) receive grants from the Ministry of Education and Research to establish research collaborations with researchers from Israel and Japan, respectively.

Molecular science and artificial biology are both interdisciplinary fields where collaboration across academic disciplines and not least geographical boundaries is necessary for success.

Associate Professor Frans Mulder at the Department of Chemistry and iNANO works in molecular science, where they dive into the structure of biological systems at a molecular level and where they are interested in their characterization and application. Biomolecular design works to construct and form new and better molecules for a given purpose.

Associate Professor Alexander Zelikin works with artificial biology, which aims to recreate biological functions using man-made molecules, such as artificial receptors for use in biotechnology and biomedicine.

Resources for collaborative activities

Both Mulder and Zelikin could see great overlap and synergy between research activities and technologies at iNANO and Japanese and Israeli research institutions, respectively.

Therefore, they each set out to bring together researchers in Denmark and Japan and Denmark and Israel, respectively, to promote the exchange of knowledge and investigate the potential for long-term joint research activities within their respective research areas. 

With their respective grants from the Ministry of Education and Research's grant program, International Network Program (INP), Mulder and Zelikin, together with committed researchers from Japan (IMS and ExCELLS) and Israel (Weizmann Institute of Science of Technion), will organize networking activities. which can disperse the great physical distance between researchers and their valuable knowledge.

Delegations from both sides will visit the involved partner organizations in turn, where symposia and workshops will be organized with the participation of representatives from the local research communities. This will provide a breeding ground for knowledge sharing, networks, joint research projects and applications for funding future research ventures.

Bridge building for collaborations both locally and nationally

The path to pioneering research can be paved when experts meet across continents, and here the networking activities can also create a foundation for long-term joint research activities.

A formalized collaboration between Aarhus University and the foreign organizations can lead to further initiatives such as exchange / workshop programs for researchers and graduate students, so that young researchers and students from AU can more easily come to the foreign organizations to study and research, and vice versa.

In addition, the network activities intend to promote and strengthen the collaboration between Denmark and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which distributes the most research funding to young researchers in the world.

With the forthcoming network activities, there are high expectations for the team of researchers from Aarhus University and Japan to begin building the bridge that can facilitate the collaboration. Together, they will try to find research areas that can make AU and the international partners competitive on a global level.


Project title: Denmark-Japan exploratory network on the molecular organization of living systems
Receiver of grant: Associate Professor Franciscus Alfonsus Albertus Mulder
Institution: Aarhus Universitet
Amount granted: kr. 288.000

Project title: Bilateral collaboration on artificial biology
Receiver of grant: Associate professor Alexander Zelikin
Institution: Aarhus Universitet
Amount granted: kr. 279.769


About the International Network Programme

The grant programme has been established with the ambition of, through projects funded by the program, increasing the internationalization of Danish research and the level of cooperation between R & D institutions in Denmark and selected countries. The aim of the program is to enable researchers to establish a basis for future collaboration and explore new research partnerships of potentially high value. 

Read more about the Ministry of Education and Research's International Network Program here.

Press release from the Ministry of Education and Research on grants from the International Network Programmes 2020.


Contact

Associate Professor Frans Mulder
Department of Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)
Aarhus University
Email: fmulder@chem.au.dk

Associate Professor Alexander Zelikin
Department of Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)
Aarhus University
Email: zelikin@chem.au.dk

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