22 September 2009

Medical cooperation across the Öresund

The foundation of an industrially-oriented platform for education and training of PhD students and researchers in medical research and development has now been established. The core of the newly created Medicines Research Academy (MRA) is a Danish-Swedish collaboration among four leading universities for medical research and education: Danish Technical University, Lund University, University of Copenhagen and Uppsala University.

From idea to product

The four cooperating universities are participating with a total of 11 faculties that cover the entire life cycle in relation to the development of new medicines - from concept to approved product. MRA will enhance medical research and development by facilitating the sharing of knowledge both between universities and across the public-private divide. This is reflected in the academy's steering committee, whose members include representatives from industry associations in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical industries, the relevant ministries, and of course the universities. Among other initiatives, MRA will establish a joint doctoral degree documenting experience in industrial research and development. "Cooperation through MRA will give our students a valuable set of experiences in relation to working in various research settings. The students have the opportunity to choose among more than 150 accredited courses at the four universities, from which they must assemble their doctoral education", says Professor Flemming Steen Jorgensen, chairman of the steering committee.
Across industries

University of Copenhagen has good experience with similar collaborative projects across the public-private divide. Under the project entitled Drug Research Academy (DRA), the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences runs an industry-oriented research training programme. DRA builds a bridge between public and private research through training courses and other activities, giving students research experience from both the industrial and the academic research communities. The project is a success for students, academic researchers, and industry, and has been a strong inspiration for the design of the Medicines Research Academy.