The AIM-Bio collaboration between NC State and DTU began in January 2020 with $27 million in funding provided by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The program was designed as a five-year project with two phases:
- Phase I: 2020–2022
- Phase II: 2023–2024
Funding for Phase II of the program, approved in December 2022, was conditional on successful completion of milestones established for the project’s halfway mark. To gain the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s approval for Phase II, the AIM-Bio leadership team submitted a comprehensive report in September 2022 that detailed the program’s accomplishments. The report style was analytical and reflective and included the following major categories:
- Overview of project progress
- Organization and governance
- Professional development program
- Research and development program
- Perspectives and conclusions
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began shortly after AIM-Bio launched, the project team demonstrated a high level of resilience and has accomplished the following achievements:
- 158 professionals (from both the U.S. and Europe) and graduate students at NC State and DTU received training in courses designed by the AIM-Bio professional development program.
- Seven new courses have been developed and delivered at NC State with one more in development.
- Six courses have been transferred to and delivered at DTU, with two more planned in the next phase.
- Nine research projects are underway and on schedule.
- Twelve student exchanges are in progress or complete, with four more planned beginning April 2023.
The AIM-Bio team is excited to embark on Phase II of the program, which it sees as an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between NC State and DTU and contribute to the growing biotech industry through research and continuing education. The focus areas for Phase II of the program include:
- The DTU Lifelong Learning Program — which will achieve the vision to become the most comprehensive short course program targeted at biotech professionals in the Nordic countries and to attract participants both nationally and internationally.
- The collaboration between researchers at NC State and DTU — which will be strengthened to exploit synergies and create joint publications. A focus of the research will continue to be the translation of results to industrial applications to maximize impact.