Amplifying RI impact with a global perspective: a Regional Hubs model. Referencia: PCI2023-143377


Este proyecto pretende crear y consolidar hubs regionales en América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) en colaboración con la Unión Europea (UE), estableciendo una dinámica sincronizada entre las Infraestructuras de Investigación (II) de ALC y la UE. El proyecto reúne a ocho socios en Brasil, Peru, Uruguay, España, Italia y Portugal, que comparten valores de excelencia científica y de compromiso con la provisión de acceso abierto de infraestructura de investigación a los usuarios. Dichos socios se apoyan en dos consorcios europeos de Biología Estructural y Bioimagenología, que actúan como miembros asociados al proyecto. Asimismo, dos Redes Regionales actualmente proactivas en diseminar estas disciplinas en ALC, expresaron su apoyo al proyecto RI_Hubs y quedaron íntimamente ligadas al desarrollo del mismo. Proponemos un esfuerzo birregional para reforzar las capacidades mediante la contratación y el intercambio de personal. Este modelo, basado en centros regionales, desencadenará un cambio cualitativo hacia una cooperación duradera en materia de II entre ALC y la UE, acelerando: (1) la adopción de tecnología punta, (2) la formación del personal científico de II, (3) la adopción de normas operativas comunes en materia de II, (4) la prestación de un mejor servicio a las comunidades científicas regionales, (5) el establecimiento de conexiones productivas con socios industriales locales, y (6) la democratización del acceso a tecnología de punta sofisticada mediante la provisión de muestras de buena calidad a instalaciones de alto porte..


This project aims to create and consolidate regional hubs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU), establishing a synchronized dynamic between Research Infrastructures (RI) in LAC and the EU. The project brings together eight partners in Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Spain, Italy and Portugal, who share values of scientific excellence and commitment to the provision of open access research infrastructure to users. These partners are supported by two European consortia in Structural Biology and Bioimaging, which act as associate members of the project. In addition, two Regional Networks currently proactive in disseminating these disciplines in LAC expressed their support for the RI_Hubs project and became closely involved in its development. We propose a bi-regional effort to strengthen capacities through recruitment and exchange of personnel. This model, based on regional hubs, will trigger a qualitative shift towards lasting RI cooperation between LAC and the EU, accelerating: (1) the adoption of state-of-the-art technology, (2) the training of RI staff scientists, (3) the adoption of common RI operational standards, (4) the provision of better service to regional scientific communities, (5) the establishment of productive connections with local industry partners, and (6) the democratization of access to sophisticated state-of-the-art technology by providing high quality samples to high-end facilities.


July, 2023: 

São Paulo School of Advanced Science in CryoEM. Most of the RI_Hubs’ nodes attended this 2-weeks full-time workshop on CryoEM, organized at the Instituto de Quimica, Univ de São Paulo (July 10-21, 2023). Students from the Peruvian, Uruguayan, and Brazilian RI_Hubs teams (from both the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo nodes) took the course. Also, several scientists from Uruguay (IPMontevideo), Brazil (LNNano, USP, and UFRJ) and Spain (CNB-CSIC) also participated among the staff of invited speakers and tutors. The workshop hosted 70 students, half from Brazil and the rest from a wide range of countries, within and beyond Latin America. Counting with an outstanding staff of teachers and instructors, this hands-on school covered state-of-the-art approaches to perform single particle analysis and tomography/sub-tomogram averaging methods, to reconstruct the 3D structures of biological samples with high spatial resolution. All the people involved in the first Visit Exchanges planned within the RI_Hubs project, were present in São Paulo, a valuable contribution to the project’s Visit Exchange Committee to best coordinate these actions.

April, 2023.

RI_Hubs Kick off Meeting. The project kick-off took place from April 19-21, 2023, at the After Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, with both in-person and virtual representation from all project members. During the meeting, various topics were addressed, including project funding, presentation of participating groups, associated infrastructures, and the activity plan for the first year of the project. Two open sessions were also conducted via teleconference. The first session was dedicated to discussing other infrastructures in the region, while the second session focused on funding entities.

Additionally, the following committees were established: the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), Visit Exchange Committee (VEC), and Information Compilation Committee.

Associated Partners

European Research Infrastructure in Structural Biology comprising 16 European member countries and organisations, and is a Landmark on the ESFRI Roadmap. Structural Biology has an important part to play in life sciences research where X-ray, Cryo-EM and NMR methods have elucidated key protein structures to atomic level, now also providing contextual information on dynamic intracellular organisation. Instruct provides Open Access to high end structural biology techniques through its 11 Centres across Europe.

Through Euro-BioImaging life scientists can access imaging instruments, expertise, training opportunities and data management services that they might not find at their home institutions or among their collaboration partners. All scientists, regardless of their affiliation, area of expertise or field of activity can benefit from these pan-European open access services, which are provided with high quality standards by leading imaging facilities. Euro-BioImaging ERIC is a joint effort of 16 member countries and the international organisation, EMBL

LABI is a collaborative network that aims to improve the bioimaging capabilities of the Latin American and Caribbean region, and to promote its integration into the global community. Its mission is to be the bioimaging network of reference in LAC by promoting capacity building, knowledge sharing and cutting-edge research. To foster regional partnerships and advocate for bioimaging research to advance scientific discovery and improve healthcare outcomes and contribute to the global bioimaging community.

CEBEM is a network  of scientific research groups that work collaboratively to enhance capacities in Structural Biology and Bioimaging in South America. It is formed by research nodes in 4 member states of Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) and an associate state of Mercosur (Chile), all of which stand out for their excellence at regional and international level. CEBEM´s vision is to consolidate a regional scientific network, integrating skills and infrastructure, promoting exchange between people dedicated to research and generating synergies to address major problems in order to improve the quality of life of people and the planet.

Scientific Advisory Board

Contact Information

Scientific contact:
Jose Maria Carazo Garcia
Telephone: (+34) 91 585 4543

Alejandro Buschiazzo
Telephone: (+598) 25220910 ext 120



Admin contact:
Óscar Saiz Gutiérrez
Telephone: (+34) 91 585 4510

Blanca E. Benitez

Telephone: (+34) 91 585 4922

Macarena Sarroca

Telephone: (+598) 2522 0910

Postal address:
Unidad de Biocomputación – Centro Nacional de Biotecnología 
c/ Darwin, 3 (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) 
28049 Cantoblanco, Madrid (Spain)

Institut Pasteur de Montevideo
11400, Mataojo 202 – Montevideo (Uruguay)
Telephone: (+598) 25220910