South Africa and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the European life sciences organization, have reached a three-year agreement to allow South African scientists to participate in EMBO’s activities and workshops.
As part of the agreement, South African scientists would be allowed to apply for short and long-term fellowships in states that participate in the European Molecular Biology Conference, which funds EMBO.
The goal is to provide the fellows with a new set of tools and a network for collaborative projects. In turn, scientists from the European Union will be allowed to travel to South Africa on fellowship.
South African scientists would also have access to funding for global exchange lecture courses at two or three South African institutions. This is the second time that South Africa and EMBO have reached such an agreement. The first agreement was reached in 2008.
“EMBO promotes and encourages the development of the life sciences within Europe and beyond, and we welcome the exchange with South African scientists that this agreement will bring,” said Maria Leptin, EMBO director.
Naledi Pandor, South African minister of science and technology said the collaboration would strengthen the research capacity of South African researchers in the area of molecular biology.
“This agreement will allow South Africans access to the cutting-edge research facilities in Europe to help South Africa advance its science, technology and innovation capacity in support of our national biotechnology and bio-economy strategies,” she said.
For the duration of the three-year cooperation agreement, South Africa may attend EMBC meetings as an observer.