The involvement of France-BioImaging, and therefore of the French biological imaging community, at the European an international level directly contributes to promote the French expertise in biological imaging and strengthens the role of France as an essential partner for future initiatives/projects in Europe and beyond.
France officially became a founding member of the Euro-Bioimaging research infrastructure in March 2019. As an active collaborator in the development of the future infrastructure since its inception (2009) and during the preparatory phases of the Euro BioImaging ESFRI project (2010 – 2018) and as a previous “Node Candidate” of the project since 2013, France-BioImaging represents today the only French Node and the single entry point in Biological Imaging in this new European research infrastructure. FBI core facilities will be participating directly in the activities carried out by the EuBI ERIC, opening their premises to EuBI users for access (https://www.eurobioimaging.eu/nodes/french-bioimaging-node) and training activities (https://www.eurobioimaging.eu/content/training).
International strategy for training in biological imaging
FBI objective is to be a key actor for training engineering and organization in Europe and beyond. This strategy hinges on several levels of action:
- FBI works for the recognition of French training courses that can be exported internationally. FBI has largely contributed to making the actions of the National Networks in the field known by involving their members into international initiatives.
- Beside its involvement in other European and International scientific and technological projects, FBI is heavily involved on biological imaging training with other European and international actors (EMBO; Global BioImaging; diverse ITNs in the Marie Curie programs; Twin program RetUBI; FENS-Neurosciences School of Bordeaux, cost Actions such as NeuBIAS, CoMULIS…).
- FBI is involved in national and international actions to disseminate knowledge and train users, but also core facility staff and managers according to the “Train the Trainers” concept (EuBI WP7 core Facility staff meeting at MiFoBio 2014; GBI-Training in Heidelberg 2016; International Training Symposium at Focus On Microscopy 2017; GBI-Exchange of Experience workshop in Bengalore 2017, in Singapore in 2019; GBI-Training in Sidney 2018; Relais RiTRAIN and Corbel).
- FBI was the coordinator of the working group dedicated to training within the Euro-BioImaging Project (ESFRI Euro-BioImaging Project PPII), and is leading the implementation of the training plan for the future ERIC-Euro-BioImaging infrastructure. Through this role, FBI has two objectives: 1) to develop its own national training plan for biological imaging, with the ambition that this plan could be proposed at the European level through Euro-BioImaging; 2) to become the coordinator of the training section of the future ERIC-EuBI infrastructure.
Global BioImaging is an international network of imaging infrastructures and communities, which was initiated in 2015 by a european (Horizon 2020) funded project. Recognizing that scientific, technical and data challenges are universal rather than restricted by geographical boundaries, it brings together imaging facility operators and technical staff, scientists, managers and science policy officers from around the globe, to network, exchange experiences and build capacity internationally.
Today, GBI gathers nine National Communities on top of the European Consortium represented by the ERIC-EuBI.
GBI missions are defined under three main topics:
- International cooperation in order propose solutions to the challenges faced by the imaging community globally.
- To build a strong case towards the funders that imaging technologies and research infrastructures are key in the advancement of life sciences.
- To build capacity internationally, leveraging on each other’s strengths and capabilities.
In the previous phase (2015-2018) France BioImaging actively participated to the Work Package 3 “Training Courses for Facility staff ” which aims at publishing international recommendation for imaging facility staff Training (https://www.globalbioimaging.org/documents).
Emerging BioImaging Communities
FBI is also a “reference structure” for emerging National BioImaging communities, such as the Chinese National Biomedical Imaging Center (FBI Director is a Member of the NBIC International SAB; FBI together with PSL Univ and the Qlife Convergences-Institute will sign a MoU with PKU and the NBIC, in July 2019 during a “first Joint Symposium on BioImaging”), which is scheduled to open in July 2019; the CMI (BioImaging Austria) or the Swedish BioImaging community.
Africa-France Joint Initiative for Biological Imaging
The Africa-France Joint Initiative for Biological Imaging, in coordination with the African BioImaging Consortium and Imaging Africa, aims at strengthening the collaboration between African and French researchers in biology. In fact, France-BioImaging wishes to extend its partnership with colleagues in Africa that have interest in using advanced microscopy approaches for their own research programs and projects. In the framework of the Horizon Europe Programme, France-BioImaging designed two calls to strengthen collaboration between African and French researchers in biology: