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Europe is striving to become a world leader in cutting edge science and technology. As part of its commitment to the future, it is bringing together young scientists from across the EU and a number of non-EU countries, as part of the ETNA project. The fundamental idea of ETNA is to build up a network of plant genome research and bioinformatics all over Europe, including third countries. The network that will be fostered through the ETNA objectives will provide continuous interaction among scientists, research organisations and research programmes.

One of the key deliverables of the project is a yearly summer school event with particular emphasis on the training of young researchers. By pursuing the training aspect, the exchange of ideas and the creation of an active and living network, the ETNA summer school is of great benefit to the bioinformatics and plant genome research community and thus of great value to all relevant stakeholders.


The main emphasis of ETNA training courses is on the middleand eastern European countries and their research communities. The selection committee wishes to include young scientists in an effort to nurture researchers that are considered to be at the onset of the careers. The summer course is entitled "European Training and Networking Activity in Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics" and it is as much about scientific training as it is about the creation of a Europe-wide network of scientists in the field of plant genomics. Both aspects are considered extremely important, if European research is willing to remain innovative and groundbreaking in all fields over the long term. The importance that is placed on the younger generation of scientists is crucial towards this goal.


The summer course aims to combine the latest theoretical advancements with extensive practical classes. It is considered a valuable tool towards the creation of a network of plant genome researchers and bio computer scientists. An annual brochure containing lecture notes and experimental protocols is produced to maximise the knowledge transfer to a wider group of interested parties. The summer school, which includes leading research institutions and universities, aims to incorporate researchers from across the continent and in particular from middle- and eastern European countries, which appear not to be fully assimilated in the European research effort. Furthermore, the creation of European networks in this field is set to overcome obstacles in the overall cooperation of scientists in Europe, which often hamper further knowledge exchange and innovation. ETNA forms part of the training initiatives supported by ERA-Net Plant Genomics, a network of research funding organisations working on the development of national and regional research programmes in the area of plant genomics. By supporting young scientists and effectively disseminating the very latest research information, the ETNA project helps to progress both Europe's science base and its economy.

List of Partners

    The first summer school (2006) was organized by the PlantMetaNet member institutions.
  • Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (Potsdam-Golm, Germany)
  • University of Potsdam (Germany)
  • Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (Halle, Germany)
  • Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (Gatersleben, Germany)
  • Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany)
Full title:
European training and networking activity in plant genomics and bioinformatics 2006 - 2008
Contract n:
Project co-ordinator:
Jens Freitag,
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
EC Scientific Officer:
Alessio Vassarotti,
EU contribution:
€ 235,000
Specific Support Action

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top