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Launch of BASF Advanced Research Initiative at Harvard University
Apr '08
BASF announced the official launch of the BASF Advanced Research Initiative at Harvard University. The Research Initiative at Harvard University represents an innovative model for university-industry collaboration designed specifically to drive new frontiers of scientific discovery. The opening of the initiative was celebrated with an inaugural two-day Symposium on Biofilms held in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The decisive difference of this collaboration between academia and industry from most research initiatives is its more integrative nature: BASF researchers from Germany are working closely with Harvard academic research teams, easing scientific exchange on the projects, as well as fostering broader interaction between the two institutions.

This arrangement also gives the students the opportunity to benefit from a close interaction and early exposure to industry. Harvard faculty will also have the freedom to distribute and publish findings from the initiative, and BASF will have the opportunity to further develop discoveries and innovations for possible commercialization.

Since the BASF Advanced Research Initiative at Harvard University was first announced last fall, 10 postdoctoral students from the United States, France, Italy, Switzerland and China have already started working in Harvard labs on multiple projects. For example, they are studying the interaction between bacteria and surfaces under various conditions and developing new types of surfaces in order to uncover structure-property relationships with respect to the interaction.

Another project involves the use colloidal techniques to develop formulations of pharmaceutical actives with a higher bioavailability. Over the next five years, with direct funding from BASF to reach up to $20 million, the students will pursue further projects in applied physics and mathematics, chemical biology, systems biology, bioengineering and materials science.

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