Building strong ties between strong universities

Jul 15, 2011

With the intent of strengthening and developing the research as well as building strong networks a list of universities has now taken the first steps towards a long term strategic cooperation.

Life Science Ambassador to British Columbia, Søren Harbel, has been a key driver in making the cooperation between the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UBC-PS) and the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KU-PHARMA) a reality.


Both UBC and KU are universities with strong faculties within pharmaceutical science, but a joint venture can significantly strengthen their profiles. At least that’s the motive behind the Statement of Cooperation signed by both faculties on the 27 June 2011. The Statement of Cooperation marks the beginning of a collaboration in which both faculties expects to not only exchange knowledge, but also develop collaborative research projects and exchange students, scholars, faculty and post-doctoral fellows.

Even though the initial agreement is for 5 years, Sven Frøkjær, Professor and Dean, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ensures that the cooperation can continue as long as it yields mutually beneficial results.

The 5 year timeline is not only to ensure that an evaluation is not done prematurely. It is also a way for us to signal that we are in it for the long run. During these 5 years, we expect to gain not only knowledge, but also academic ties to a university that in the future can be of great value to the research conducted here at KU. I predict that this collaboration will not only result in a strong network of skilled scientists and academia, but also raise the bar for the research that is conducted at both faculties. There are so many areas that could be mutual beneficial, so I have high expectations, says Sven Frøkjær.

The First Steps
With the signature taken care of on 27 June, the 28th was reserved for a symposium at KU-PHARMA premises. The symposium was held in order for the two faculties to present their research and for both faculties to gain insight into which research areas can create the most synergies between the universities.
The program featured several high profile professors from UBC who presented their research on areas that could be of potential interest for the collaboration. The specific areas presented are listed in the full program.
As of now, a similar symposium is scheduled for the end of the year at UBC premises, but the current task for both faculties lies in the assessment of which research areas holds the most interest for the joint cooperation.

The Ambassador Program – the Network Facilitator
The Life Science Ambassador Program is doing what it does best – creates new opportunities – in this case within research.

I can honestly say that if it weren’t for Søren Harbel and the Ambassador Program, this joint venture would not be a reality at this point. He not only made the introductions, but he also facilitated the following negotiations, says Sven Frøkjær.

The negotiations started one and a half years ago when Bob Sindelar, on a tour of Europe was introduced to Sven Frøkjær by Søren Harbel. With both faculties eager to broaden their networks and further their research, it was a perfect match.

As they both describe it:
The next step pre-eminence, a strategic partnership between UBC and KU Pharmaceutical Science.
Details of the Statement of Cooperation
The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and The University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences will explore areas of potential collaboration with respect to the following activities:

  • The exchange of visiting students, scholars, faculty and post-doctoral fellows
  • Collaborative graduate education and research training
  • Shared endowed Faculty position(s)
  • The exchange of scholarly information including research papers, indices to theses, and books on relevant subjects
  • The exchange of invitations to attend scholarly and technical meetings, forums and conferences
  • Joint conferences, seminars, workshops and exhibitions
  • Review of other possible areas of cooperation in a variety of research and academic projects.

Neither UBC-PS or KU-PHARMA are obligated to commit funds or resources, nor will either Institution grant any rights with respect to intellectual property, unless a legally binding agreement has been entered into. The Statement of Cooperation is intended for a five year period unless renewed, but either Institution can terminate the Statement of Cooperation with 60 days notice.

Read more about UBC-PS.

Read more about KU-PHARMA.

Source: Medicon Valley Alliance, 04.07.2011

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