CORBEL Project
shared services for life-science

CORBEL News | Issue 7

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2nd Open Call for research projects launched

In March 2018, the CORBEL partners launched their 2nd Open Call and thereby offer to all academic and industrial scientists in Europe the chance to accelerate their research project. Through defined pipelines, called Access Tracks, high-end technologies and services offered by more than 20 CORBEL partner institutes from 10 participating research infrastructures will be made accessible to interested scientists. Successful applicants will have the unique opportunity to access multiple research infrastructures with just one application.

During the first submission round which ended on April 30, a number of applications were already submitted to the access management system and are currently processed. Importantly, also the newly introduced Access Track 5 was considered by the applicants, which represents the expansion of the portfolio of technologies and services offered compared to the 1st Open Call in 2016.

Importantly, the grouping of services into Access Tracks is flexible, and also alternative combinations can be requested. Projects will be supported at every stage, with CORBEL project managers helping scientists to navigate between different service providers and exploit the full potential of the offers available. CORBEL funds will not be given to successful applicants directly. Instead, costs for travel to CORBEL partner sites will be reimbursed (up to €5,000) and access to service providers granted without access fee (extra costs for consumables may apply). Crucially, data that is generated stays with the scientist and can be used for publication.

Due to the rolling deadline of the Open Call collecting applications at the 1st of every 2nd month, researchers have the recurring opportunity to submit their proposals - the deadline of the current submission round is June 30, 2018! Don’t miss this opportunity and submit your proposal now!

Since the 1st Open Call in 2016, 21 research projects have been benefitting from the technologies and services offered by the participating research infrastructures – read the ‘success stories‘ to learn how CORBEL Open Call projects work in practical terms.


RI in the spotlight

This section will focus on one of the thirteen research infrastructures participating in CORBEL, providing useful information for current and future users. In this issue, Euro-BioImaging is introduced to the researcher community.


Euro-BioImaging: Europe’s Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies

A huge range of research projects require some sort of imaging input and many researchers are often faced with the challenge that the state-of-the-art equipment and technical expertise required to perform advanced imaging is not available at their home institute. These problems are exactly what Euro-BioImaging (EuBI) aims to overcome - this research infrastructure exists to break down the barriers associated with biological and medical imaging. EuBI is actually a European-wide network of 29 imaging facilities (also known as, nodes) offering a selection of 36 distinct imaging technologies across 10 European countries and EMBL. EuBI offers the following open access services:

Access to cutting-edge imaging technologies: From super-resolution light microscopy to electron microscopy, EuBI offers access to the latest imaging technologies to allow you to generate innovative results.

Expert training and support: Each node is staffed with personnel who can provide the support required to maximise the output of your research project. Guidance is available for all aspects of the imaging pipeline, from study design to image capture.

Image processing and storage: Data storage and analysis is a significant problem considering the large and complex datasets generated by imaging technologies. EuBI can help extract meaningful conclusions from your data and, through tools such as Image Data Resource, can give you the means to store and disseminate your data.

All life scientists, from academia to industry can access EuBI services. These services are available now while EuBI is in its “interim phase” and we all look forward to the coming months when Euro-BioImaging becomes a fully established European Research Infrastructure Consortium (EuBI ERIC). Click here for more information including access to the application form and a list of the available technologies.


Upcoming Events

2018 BIO International Convention

June 4-7, 2018 in Boston

As a service to the RI community, CORBEL Innovation Office led by EATRIS will take part in partnering meetings with SME and large companies on behalf of RIs at the BIO in Boston. BIO is the world’s largest biotech/pharma conference hosting partnering meetings, with several thousand companies taking part each year. 

To help prepare their pitch to companies, highlighting the key advantages of their technology offers and what they seek in a cooperation with an industry partner, RI are advised to make use of the guidelines presented by EATRIS during the past webinar “Identifying and Networking with Industry: How to Market Your Research”. For more information, please contact Nigel Wagstaff (

More information about the conference can be found here.

Webinar "Status Update on the Code of Conduct for Health Research Initiative"

June 5, 2018 at 15:30 CEST

The EU General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018, with direct effect in the EC Member States. In its Article 40, it specifies that the Commission encourages “the drawing up of codes of conduct intended to contribute to the proper application of this Regulation, taking account of the specific features of the various processing sectors and the specific needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.” The BBMRI-ERIC led Code of Conduct for Health Research initiative is committed to such a code, i.e. aiming at contributing to the proper application of the regulation. The aim of the webinar is to present the initiative and give an update on current achievements. A first section of the code will be released soon for comments, a public consultation of the full code will expectantly start in late 2018. Participation in the webinar is free, please register here.

CORBEL QM Exchange of Experience Workshop

June 18-19, 2018

Experts from the BMS research infrastructures will meet in Munich to discuss recent developments in quality management. For more information click here.

INFRAFRONTIER satellite session @CTLS2018: Modelling the Mammalian-Microbiota Host Superorganism

July 1, 2018 in Ghent

INFRAFRONTIER is hosting a satellite session on ‘Modelling the Microbiota-Host Superorganism: animal models and core facilities’ at the CTLS2018 conference. For more information click here.

Train-the-trainer workshop & course development hackathon

Train-the-trainer workshop: July 4-5, 2018
Course development hackathon: July 6, 2018 in Amsterdam

The CORBEL workshop will support trainers, educators, training work package leaders and training coordinators by providing them with new ideas and tools to make their training events even better and easier to run and prepare. For more information click here.

Webinar "The BBMRI-ERIC ELSI Helpdesk – Personalising ELSI Support"

July 10, 2018 at 15:30 CEST

The BBMRI-ERIC ELSI Helpdesk is a personalised support service assisting researchers with any ethical, legal and societal questions they may have in the context of research projects. Be sharing expertise, the Helpdesk assists researchers in navigating their way through the ethical and legal landscape, offering guidance on topics that are crucial in biobanking, such as informed consent and data protection, in order to promote compliance with regulatory requirements and best practice principles. This webinar is for you if you are interested in finding out more about the ELSI Helpdesk, how it works and what’s happening behind the scenes and screens, as well as the future trajectory of the service. Participation in the webinar is free, please register here.

Europe Biobank Week 2018: Biosharing for Scientific Discovery

September 4-7, 2018 in Antwerp

Co-organised by BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB, the Europe Biobank Week 2018 will take place in Antwerp (Belgium) 4-7 September 2018.

5th MIUF meeting

October 15, 2018 in Paris

The next MIUF (Medical Infrastructure/Users Forum) will take place in Paris on 15 October 2018. The conference is intended to discuss (a) the structuring of medical research communities at pan-EU level (b) the emerging needs of medical research projects in the context of big data and personalised/stratified medicine approach (c) the challenges raised in terms of development and deployment of data services. The agenda and free registration will be available soon.

Joint Institut Pasteur and INFRAFRONTIER meeting: Modeling microbial ecosystems of mammals

October 15-16, 2018 in Paris

Institut Pasteur in Paris and INFRAFRONTIER will offer a joint meeting featuring the challenges and the current tools used in modeling the microbial ecosystems of mammals. The microbiota plays an important role in the development, immunity and physiology of its mammalian host. The aim of the meeting is to bring together the specialists of the field to discuss novel insights into the microbiota-host mutualism and parasitism, and focus on the new models and approaches to explore this relationship. In the near future, these advances will lead to the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies based on microbiota manipulation, and allow the microbiota to become a key diagnostic component in precision medicine. For detailed informations and registration, please visit the meeting website.

3rd CORBEL Annual General Meeting

October 16-17, 2018 in Paris

Machine Learning for Image Analysis

October 29-31, 2018 in Heidelberg

CORBEL, EMBL, German BioImaging and NEUBIAS are organizing a joint blended learning course on Machine Learning for Image Analysis. The course will be a great mix of intensive learning, extensive hands-on and community networking, consisting of

- Up-front online sessions: Participants will review the fundamentals of machine learning in three up-front webinars complemented by online tutorials. The webinars will take place on 2nd, 9th and 16th October 2018, 12:00 - 14:00 but a recorded alternative can be provided.

- On-site workshop: Next, they will apply their knowledge at an on-site workshop (EMBL Heidelberg, October 29-31), in small interactive groups (the workshop has 20 available seats and ~8 trainer/lecturer), to both reference datasets and their own data.

- Follow-up online sessions (optional): After the on-site workshop, two optional advanced training webinar, complemented by a online tutorials, will be given on 9th and 16th November 2018. These will focus simulation of data, transfer learning and boosting.

After the course participants should be able to explain the fundamentals of machine learning methods suitable for image analysis, consult others in strategies to obtain ground truth, give advice in training and using a neural-network and perform simple quality control on the results of one selected ML approach. Registration is open now; the deadline is June 15, 2018. More information about the course (program & trainers) and venue, are available at the course website.


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Updates from partners

BBMRI-ERIC recently launched its Negotiator, a web-based solution to help researchers find detailed information on the availability of samples and associated data. The tool is a great step forward in facilitating access to high-quality samples that are currently stored in biobanks all over Europe. Connected to the BBMRI-ERIC Directory, the world’s largest biobanking catalogue including more than 100 million samples, the Negotiator allows users to contact biobanks directly with a specific request.

INFRAFRONTIER published a Trans-national Access call on the topic of "Precision mammalian model development / rat models". Main objective of this open call is to facilitate access for the wider biomedical research community to the unique infrastructure and scientific expertise of the participating INFRAFRONTIER partners, to deliver novel rat mutant models that will advance knowledge of human disease and will be of widespread use in biomedical science. Many cognitive and physiological characteristics that make the rat an ideal human disease model and choice for laboratory studies in neurobiology, cardiobiology, and immunology. Recent advances in genome-editing technology will be used to develop new rat models of human disease. INFRAFRONTIER will provide open access to all newly developed disease models through the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA). Access to this free-of-charge-service will be granted on the basis of the applicant’s research plans and the potential impact of the proposed novel rat model on the wider biomedical research community. During the course of the INFRAFRONTIER2020 project three Trans-national Access calls for the development of mammalian model development supporting a total of 28 projects will be published. One further call supporting the production of 12 mouse precision models will be released in 2018. For more information and the call application form click here.

CZECRIN is Member of ECRIN-ERIC since January 2018.
The PedCRIN annual meeting was held in Bergen on 23-24 April, 2018.
ECRIN-ERIC and its scientific partner HECRIN organised the annual International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) in Budapest on 15 May 15, 2018.
The first CRIGH General Assembly was held in Tokyo on 7-8 March, 2018.

Instruct-ERIC recently announced the successful applicants for their 2018 Internship call and R&D pilot project award.
Instruct-ERIC is involved in the CORBEL 2nd Open Call, both through offering access to some of their cutting-edge structural biology techniques in access tracks 2 and 3, and by hosting the open call using their access management software ARIA. In association with CORBEL they recently held two training webinars on how to use ARIA for the open call, the first webinar was aimed at scientific reviewers, and the second webinar at the service providers. If you missed these webinars they will soon be available online. Please contact for more information.
Instruct-ERIC hosted the 2nd ERIC Forum in Oxford, 19-20 April 2018. The meeting was for European Research Infrastructure Consortiums (ERICs) and research groups in the process of applying to become an ERIC. They welcomed 65 participants from across Europe to take part in discussions relating to sustainability, socio-economic impact and key performance indicators. Prof Ana Proykova brought an update from the Bulgarian EU Presidency, and they heard encouraging case studies from Instruct, BBMRI and ECRIN ERICs. The strong sense of camaraderie, collaboration and cooperation was evident to all. As Prof Dave Stuart remarked, ERICs, the jewel in the crown of European Research Infrastructure, are truly at the forefront of driving innovation for the European Research Area.
This April Instruct hub staff moved offices from their old home in the Department of Structural Biology at the University of Oxford to a new location in Oxford Business park. They now have more space for their growing team at the hub. The new address is:
Oxford House,
Parkway Court,
John Smith Drive
And their new telephone number is: +44 (0)1865 988639
Please make a note for your records.

ISBE has a new interim office in Italy: you can contact Director Prof Gennaro Piccialli ( and Liaison officer Massimiliano Borsani ( for any info or request regarding ISBE.

MIRRI has announced that Portugal and Spain will be the host countries of MIRRI’s headquarters. MIRRI will be established as a not-for-profit legal entity following a distributed model with a CCU accommodating the operational headquarters and the national nodes bringing together the partners and stakeholders in each member country. MIRRI will facilitate the access to a broad range of high quality bioresources and data in a legal compliant way. By offering access to human expertise and providing a collaborative platform MIRRI will support research and development in the field of biotechnology and generate solutions to societal challenges by stimulating interaction between academia and bioindustry. MIRRI CCU will consist of two distributed sections:
- Statutory Seat located in Portugal (University of Minho, Braga)
- Collaborative Working Environment hub operated from Spain (University of Valencia, Paterna) and supported by LifeWatch-Spain, a closely related e-infrastructure.
After the preparatory phase (2012-2016), funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 312251, MIRRI is now entering in a construction phase. The 1st step submission for the MIRRI-European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) application is scheduled for September 2018, in view of having MIRRI legally established by the end of 2019.

The European Plant Phenotyping Network 2020 (EPPN2020) provides researchers belonging to academic and industry groups with access to its 31 phenotyping facilities located all over Europe. The facilities can be used for experiments with either scientific or technological objectives. For more information click here.



Identification of genetic elements in metabolism by high-throughput mouse phenotyping (2018) Rozman, J. et al. (2018) Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01995-2

This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654248.

This publication reflects the view only of the author(s), and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.