HEIDELBERG, 22 September 2011 - Scientists in South Africa will access the latest in European life sciences thinking and research following a cooperation agreement between EMBO, its intergovernmental funding body, EMBC, and the government of South Africa. The agreement will allow South African scientists to participate in EMBO programmes and activities. It also means that certain EMBO activities will take place in South Africa.
"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 EMBO Director Maria Leptin.
The South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said she was excited about this agreement as it would further 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 added.
EMBO is an organization of leading life scientist members that fosters new generations of researchers to produce world-class scientific results.
In terms of the agreement, South African researchers can apply for Long-Term and Short-Term Fellowships in the EMBC Member States, enabling them to enjoy scientific exchanges with their European counterparts and return home with new skills and contacts for future collaborations. Scientists from EMBC Member States can apply for Long-Term and Short-Term Fellowships in South Africa, in accordance with the EMBO commitment to international mobility.
In order to strengthen ties with scientists in Europe, South African scientists can apply for funding for EMBO Global Exchange lecture courses. They can also apply for funding of a Global Exchange lecture series to be given by an EMBO Member or EMBO Young Investigator at two or three institutes in South Africa. Organisers of scientific conferences in South Africa can apply for the support of an EMBO Plenary Lecturer or an EMBO Young Investigator lecturer.
For the duration of the three-year cooperation agreement, South Africa may attend EMBC meetings as an observer. The agreement is the second of its kind with South Africa. The first ran from 2008 until 2011.