A national platform for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been established. NMR technology is used to determine the structure and function of proteins, natural products, and synthetic organic molecules. NMR is also used to investigate dynamics, concentration, and how molecules interac with each other.
Existing equipment at the universities of Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim has been expanded with new and more powerful instruments. This equipment makes it possible to carry out projects that were previously only feasible abroad.
NMR is used in research in a number of disciplines, such as chemistry, medicine, biology, and materials technology. The technology is used in the development and production of new drugs, catalysts, and other chemical compounds.
The strength of NNP's powerful instruments is most evident in studies of proteins. Powerful NMR instruments are needed to study the structure, function, and dynamics of proteins at the atomic level. This is information is useful both for the general understanding of biological processes and for research on everything from rare diseases to the major public diseases such as cancer, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Efforts are also being made to develop NMR into an important tool in personalized medicine, which in the long run can make clinical treatment more effective and accurate.
NMR is of great importance to business and industry. The industry uses the technology on a large scale to control and monitor processes, and thereby ensure the quality of its products. For the pharmaceutical industry in particular, this is crucial. Other applications that are important for the business community are the characterization of petroleum, fish oil, residual raw materials from the fishing industry and brewer's yeast strains. NMR is also used in the work of optimizing the utilization of biomass from trees and macroalgae, in order to be able to make the production of biofuels an economically profitable process. NMR is also used by the Criminal Police in connection with drug seizures.
Good raw material utilization in all sectors, and good monitoring of the environment, are absolutely crucial for achieving several of the UN's sustainability goals. Society must also face new medical challenges such as antibiotic resistance, pandemics and an aging population. This requires a sharp insight into the molecular world, and NMR is absolutely essential in that respect.
The establishment of the NNP will directly benefit all research and innovation that require detailed structural and dynamic information at the molecular level, a large proportion of research in Norway. 21-century research needs within biomedicine, bio-eco nomy, food safety, and innovation require understanding at the most detailed molecular level that experimental science can provide. The methodological champion of these demands is high-resolution NMR in its most developed form. This project application describes a very cost-effective way (51.4 mNOK) to greatly enhance the reach and impact of a range of research areas by giving them entirely new capability: access to explore much larger molecules than current equipment allows (e.g. using the TROSY-effect on proteins). Research needing to identify low-concentration metabolites or other substances will also gain from the enhanced sensitivity and resolution of the new instruments. New, high-impact research of fundamental character and addressing important societal challenges will definitely result from the NNP investment. More than 80 research groups, institutions, hospitals and companies are users of NMR and positioned to take advantage of the new equipment, and new projects will quickly be established as the infrastructure becomes available. The NNP will be centered on one 850 MHz high-resolution NMR instrument deployed in Bergen, and two 700 MHz instruments (Oslo and Trondheim). All will be fitted with cold probes for higher sensitivity. Also, for ease of access and node integration, they will be equipped with automated sample changers and remote set-ups. In this updated application, upgrades at the 400-600 MHz level, two new instrument purchases (400 and 500 MHz), and solutions for solid state and LC/NMR combinations has been provided by host institutions. The NNP will consist of the collective weight of the Norwegian NMR environment, and is augmented by three full-time positions dedicated to running the facility.