19. Dec. 2018

Press release, Brno, 19. December 2018;

Thanks to the cooperation of the leading Czech and Austrian biotechnological research institutions within the framework of the RIAT-CZ project financed by the INTERREG Joint Programme, also other entities have a possibility to access the top-class research infrastructure. Upon request, it can be used by non-commercial research institutions and universities from the South Moravian Region, the South Bohemian Region, the Vysočina Region, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, and Vienna. Call for proposal remains open as long as capacity exists.

“We expect the RIAT-CZ project and the resulting long-term collaborations between the project partners to have a lasting impact on the development in the region. By connecting the facilities of nearby institutes new research opportunities are opening up”, says Lada Fialová, Project Coordinator from the Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF).

Over the last two years, the cross-border collaboration between the Austrian and Czech project partners has already resulted in joint development of numerous pioneering methods in areas that range from single cell sequencing to bioinformatics. Additionally, numerous staff training activities and staff exchange visits took place. Ludek Lovicar, the manager of the Electron Microscopy Facility at IST Austria was among the participants of staff exchange activities and travelled to Brno several times over the past two years. “It was a very fruitful collaboration for us. On one hand we could learn about the workflow for the cryo-electron microscope in Brno and on the other hand we could teach the colleagues about array tomography technique, which we use to reconstruct 3D structures of biological objects,” he explains.

Now, some of the new services, as well as some of the standard services of the facilities are available to other, non-partner research institutions and universities in the local area, and can be applied for through the open access call. "We will be glad to welcome new external users in our core facilities, our capacities and cooperation are offered among others by the Genomics Core Facility and Cryo-Electron Microscopy and Tomography Core Facility," says Kateřina Vágnerová, Project Manager at CEITEC Masaryk University. The use of the facilities in the framework of the open access initiative is free of charge, and the call will remain open until no additional users can be accommodated. A list of the equipment and services available through the call is provided on the project website: http://riat.ceitec.cz/open-access/

Initiated in 2016, the project RIAT-CZ creates synergies between research infrastructures in the border regions between Austria and the Czech Republic. Funded by the joint program Interreg V-A Austria – Czech Republic 2014–2020, it stimulates innovation by fostering exchange and collaboration. All project partners – the Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF), the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC), and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) – are equipped with facilities for the life sciences and the bio and nanotechnology sectors.

Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) is a scientific centre in the fields of life sciences, advanced materials and technologies whose aim is to establish itself as a recognized centre for basic as well as applied research. Located in Brno, CEITEC offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure and great conditions to employ excellent researchers.

Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities, GmbH (VBCF) provides access to state-of-the-art research infrastructures in the field of life sciences for both academic and private customers in the non-profit regime.

International Clinical Research Center of St.Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) is a multidisciplinary center of excellence in translational medical research established in 2011 as an integral part of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno. Over 200 employees from 16 countries constitute 24 research teams and 5 core facilities to find new solutions for prevention, diagnostics and treatment of cardiovascular, neurological and selected oncological diseases and disorders.

Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) is a PhD-granting research institution located in Klosterneuburg. Inaugurated in 2009, the Institute is dedicated to basic research in the natural and mathematical sciences. While dedicated to the principle of curiosity-driven research, the Institute owns the rights to all scientific discoveries and is committed to the promotion of their use.