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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Next Generation Optical Nanoscopy Platforms for Biological System - Symbiosis of Advanced Training, Research and Innovation

Alternative title: Neste generasjons optiske nanoskopi-plattformer for biologiske systemer" - Symbiose av avansert opplæring, forskning og innovasjon

Awarded: NOK 4.5 mill.

The project has setup an international network of cooperation in advanced microscopy and bio-imaging with partners in India, Germany, USA and Norway. The focus is on education and innovation, with partners of academic and research excellence. The project has created a unique network that brings international excellence environments in academia, innovation, and research to the local and national scene. Moreover, it is in the process of creating work force on advance microscopy and optical nanoscopy in order to keep global leadership enhance bioimaging growth in Norway. In this project we will develop specific courses and modules targeted towards, ?Label-free Microscopy/Nanoscopy? and ?Innovation in Photonics & Nanoscopy?. This will help in training of graduate and post graduate students in the natural sciences. Further, the education gap between technologists and biologists hinders the translation and powerful use of nanoscopy for bio-imaging. The project fills this gap by conducting summer courses and workshops across its partners, where students will be given hands-on experience at state-of-the art research infrastructure at the partner sites. Each such training event will address one niche topic that fills an education gap between nanoscopy and its biological application, e.g. ?Photo-toxicity in nanoscopy?, ?Computational nanoscopy and AI?, ?Build your own microscope?, ?New labelling procedures?, ?Label-free and Correlative nanoscopy?, ?Understanding image quality and imaging artefacts? etc. Due to covid-19 we had limited physical mobilities during 2021 and we had to post-pone planned summer school in June 2021 in Tromsø. However, as the situation is improving, we have planned a winter INTPART workshop organized and hosted by our partner IIT New Delhi, India in December 2021. During 2021, we only had two physical mobilities and the remaining internships were converted into virtual mobilities/internship projects. Interesting, we had a good experience with virtual mobilities. The scalability aspect of virtual mobilities resulted in accommodating more students than originally anticipated and also more collaborators both from India and Norway were joined the project. In total we have 9 virtual mobilities conducted by different partners of the project, with an accumulated 36 person months. The virtual mobilities were conducted between India and Norway and similar virtual internship is planned between Harvard-UiT-IIT during 2021. Partners collaborating in these virtual mobilities are Indian institutes such as Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad; Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati; Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi; Birla Institute of Technology & Science; and Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The outcome of these mobilities and co-operation was fruitful with 5 journal articles and 7 conference proceedings. In addition, we had 4 additional dissemination activities. Further details about the project can be found at the following website

UiT has become a central node of development of new advanced nanoscopy technologies and their bioapplications, thanks to several prestigious EU and RCN projects. It has also established pivotal collaborations with leading research and academic institutes on various aspects of new technology developments – IIT (leader in optics/photnics), EMBL (education, training and bioapplications on modern microscopy), Harvard and MIT (excellence in optics, buzzing technopreneurship ecosystem). With the cutting edge research, a critical need to timely train a new breed of scientists for development, application, and exploitation of these techniques has arose. In order to deliver the impact of these technological developments, a global arena with the above mentioned international partners and several national collaborators is being created for training the new scientists, preparing them for further research excellence, innovation, and penetration of these research activities. We will create a virtual center of education and research in nanoscopy to facilitate co-supervision of master/PhD students across the globe, provide them the exposure to leading education, research, and innovation ecosystem, and allowing them to better grow their competency. We will also organize summer schools and workshops across 4 geographic locations, Tromso, Delhi, Heidelberg, and Boston on niche topics that allow transition from vocation to expertise. Students will have a chance to undergo cross-disciplinary training through prolonged hands-on experience in developing bio-applications with national and international collaborators. We will co-develop new courses on Label-free microscopy and Innovation in photonics and nanoscopy, for ensuring that students taking these courses can propel to penetration of nanoscopy in Norway. We will also jointly pursue the cause of innovation by developing business models of exisiting joint IPs and facilitate creation of new joint IPs.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research