Kick-off Meeting of Max Planck BioImaging Core Unit Network

A new initiative of the Max Placnk imaging facilities to foster collaboration and empowering people, science and innovation. Find here our detailed report including the videos of our public talks of this event.

November 09, 2020

The Max Planck BioImaging Core Unit Network is a new initiative within the Max Planck Society to foster collaboration and empower people, science and innovation. Sharing know-how, information and resources will create new opportunities for MPG scientists to network. Also, by organizing courses, trainings and workops, scientists will increase their abilities. The network aims to establishing partnership with other networks to provide our members more opportunities. Finally, the network wants to increase the visibility of technology, science and innovation performed within the MPG.

On November 9th, 2020, the kick-off meeting of the network took place. After the public session with an interesting talk about the advantages and drawbacks on leasing imaging systems, the founding members held their first General Assembly.

During the public session, the talk held by Douglas Richardson of the Harvard University gave an inspiring insight into his imaging facility. Years ago they started to switch to a leasing strategy for their major imaging systems. A major benefit is to be technically always up to date as this facility the instruments are replaced every three years. On top their need to take care of maintenance and repair is reduced as the ownership of the systems stays at the lessor. The facility shifts the risks of aging instruments, major repairs and changing needs towards the manufacture/lessor. An outcome that may not expected is reducing costs, compared to purchasing instruments leasing appears to be cheaper in the case of a turnover of up to three/four years. Starting with a instrument turnover of four years purchasing gets more attractive. The question whether leasing may be a good opportunity for Max-Planck facilities can't be answered generally as this depends a lot on the environment of the individual locations. On top in most cases the facilities do not cover the costs to purchase an imaging instrument themselves , but may get support by central funding.

In the general assembly the members of the Max-Planck BioImagingNet were informed about the progress of the different work groups. Dr. Elisa D'Este and Dr. Stefan Volkery presented the internal and external communication strategies such as the social media accounts (Twitter; LinkedIn) the web page and the members'cloud. Moreover a public seminar series "spotlight journal club" was announce giving young scientists the opportunity to present their recent publications. Dr. Tobias Rasse reported the path to go from the initial idea via the assembly, funding and preparation of the first network actions. Furthermore he provided information about the Scientific Advisory Board and the planned Max Planck Advanced Research Courses series (more information soon under "Events"). The work group for staff and user presented plans for staff training such as a webinar series to share experiences on advanced techniques (as well more information soon under "Events"). On top there are plans to facilitate staff exchange between facilities and to joins forces to get specialized training courses. Dr. Wiebke M?bius highlighted the importance of equal opportunity especially in a challenging situation like a pandemic. She illustrated that the Max-Planck-Society showed a lot of effort to support equal opportunities but nevertheless it was not always easy to get where we are now with still a lot of work to do. Please find more information under ?News ? Equal Opportunities?. Finally some minor changes in the statutes and a few new ideas were discussed in the closing remarks moderated by Dr. Christian Kukat.

Program of the public session:

14:30 Welcome note
Wiebke Möbius, MPI Experimental Medicine,
Tobias Möser, Georg-August University Göttingen

14:45 Max Planck BioImaging Core Unit Network (MaxBI): Structure, Vision & Aims
Tobias Rasse, MPI Heart and Lung Research

15:00 Core Facility business models: Leasing versus buying scientific instruments
Douglas Richardson, Harvard University

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