INSTRUCT – An Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure for Europe
1Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry AS CR, v.v.i., Heyrovského nám. 2, 16206 Praha 6, Czech Republic
1Institute of Biotechnology AS CR, v.v.i., Vídeňská 1083, 14200 Praha 4, Czech Republic
New rules and priorities regarding support of key research infrastructures in Europe are being defined by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure for Europe (INSTRUCT) has been voicing the needs and priorities of the field and will likely play an important role for the future of molecular and cellular structural biology research in Europe in the coming years.
The Czech Republic has joined the effort and become an affiliated country of INSTRUCT in 2008. Our participation in the preparatory phase of INSTRUCT, now extended till March 2011, offers a limited space to influence the development including future policies such as support of access to heavy technology, e.g. synchrotron radiation sources, cutting edge NMR or EM technologies. The project also represents an opportunity for development of some techniques and methodologies (computational approaches and standardization of electron microscopy image processing and other).
The Czech structural biology community is characterized by a wide spectrum of experimental and computational approaches but limited capacity and “sub-critical mass” in many techniques. Formation of a national structural biology platform to foster the future development in this field and represent the needs and benefits of this research field in communication with the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and INSTRUCT has been agreed on at the first National User Group meeting in Prague in December 2009.
The function, formal framework and legal status of such national platform are to be discussed and established at this meeting.
The author wishes to acknowledge the E.C., Integrated project SPINE2-Complexes (no. 031220) and INSTRUCT (no. 211252) and the Czech Science Foundation (project no. 310/09/1407) for support.