This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A peer-reviewed access to a broad range of technology, expertise and training in structural biology
The Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure (INSTRUCT) is a distributed Research Infrastructure that provides peer-reviewed access to a broad palette of state-of-the-art technology and expertise as well as training and technique development in the area of integrated structural and cell biology, with the major goal of underpinning fundamental research and promoting innovation in the biological and medical sciences. Biological and medical research requires an integrated approach combining multiple technologies: INSTRUCT is a major player in delivering this strategy, promoting innovation and discovery in biomedical science, defining a plan for structural biology in Europe that will help to develop the European Research Area, supporting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and helping to meet the Grand Challenges as defined by Horizon 2020.
Entered in the ESFRI Roadmap 2006, INSTRUCT established the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in July 2017.
INSTRUCT ERIC offers access to structural biology facilities at its Centres upon application by the users. All proposals are peer-reviewed using an efficient and transparent process. Applications for access can be submitted at any time or via special calls with specific criteria. All applications are evaluated on scientific merit with specific attention for those that require innovative integrative approaches. INSTRUCT ERIC provides advanced technologies and unique expertise across the range of technologies and methods for sample preparation, structural and cellular characterisation, and data analysis. Access to the advanced technologies are underpinned by foundation methods at each Centre to ensure high sample quality and preparative work.
In addition to access to state-of-the-art technologies, INSTRUCT also generates scientific output through grants for small pilot projects, internships, and an extensive training programme. In five years of operations, 49 Training Courses have been commissioned and funded, 26 internships have been awarded, 35 R&D pilot awards have been made. The training courses have included a total number of 695 participants who have had opportunities to improve their skills in structural biology methods. A total of 455 publications have acknowledged INSTRUCT support and the number is constantly increasing. INSTRUCT is working to reinforce the ERA by establishing commonalities with other RI procedures and service provision. A key contribution is the access management system (ARIA) which was developed by INSTRUCT and is made available to other ESFRI and national infrastructures, helping to create a common web platform that supports cross-disciplinary RI use. INSTRUCT has and continues to establish an extensive network of international partners. MoUs and formal partnerships have been defined or are at final stages of definition with China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico, and with the Middle East synchrotron SESAME in Jordan.
The impact of structural biology is considerable, including both academic, commercial and more indirect economic gains. INSTRUCT ERIC has a direct impact on academic science: it serves a community of more than 35.000 structural biologists. Dissemination and training activities targeting non-structural biological scientists potentially expand the user community to more than 100.000 with a potentiality to exceed 400.000 globally.
INSTRUCT is embedded in the drug discovery process through collaborations with several European companies and the EU-funded vaccine network. There is considerable potential to contribute to the design of innovative, effective and safe medicines using structural approaches. Any reduction in the burden of disease through improved prevention and/or treatment produces considerable potential economic gains, as well as contributing to healthier ageing and improved public health.
Oxford, United Kingdom