Gulbenkian Collaborative Centre

The Collaborative Centre aims to promote the advancement of life sciences by enhancing interdisciplinary and collaborative research.


Created in 2020 with the support from Oeiras City Council, the Gulbenkian Collaborative Centre has a fundamental role in establishing IGC, Oeiras and the greater Lisbon region at large, as a hub of Science and Innovation of international relevance.

The Collaborative Centre, first of its kind in Europe, aims to promote the advancement of life sciences by enhancing interdisciplinary and collaborative research. More specifically, the Centre will:

  • offer opportunities for exciting unusual encounters that generate new questions, hypotheses and experimental models;
  • provide the necessary infrastructure and collaborative environment for testing innovative ideas, projects or products;
  • train scientists and members of the public in and about collaborative and interdisciplinary science.

More specifically, the Centre will promote activities founded on three main pillars: internationalization, innovation and participation.



Regular collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives will be hosted and organised by the Centre, contributing to the development of an international scientific hub at the IGC campus. Among the planned initiatives are:

  1. The Oeiras International Sabbatical Programme that brings world leading scientists to develop research at the IGC, this initiative aims to further promote collaborative research and multidisciplinary approaches to solve scientific problems by allowing the stay of outstanding researchers that wish to further develop their scientific activities within the context of IGC´s highly collaborative environment;
  2. The organisation of international scientific conferences and courses that will facilitate the discussion of interdisciplinary topics and the dissemination of cutting-edge technologies;
  3. The collaborative scientific retreats, during which scientists from different backgrounds from all over the world will gather and work on a scientific question



The International Centre will provide a state-of- the-art co-creation & -development space for academia and industry to work collaboratively in both pre-competitive and competitive endeavours in scientific challenges of mutual interest. This will be achieved in close collaboration with the Innovation Unit, which was recently created as a joint venture between the IGC, ITQB NOVA and the Oeiras City Council . The Innovation Unit is implementing best practices and creating a pipeline for translational projects with the support of the internal Proof of Concept Fund, whose first call will open in 2020. 


Participation (Science with and for society)

The Collaborative Centre will further develop initiatives that aim to bring collaborative science to society, and that contribute to lessen the inequality in the access to scientific knowledge. The Centre will:

  1. take affordable, pedagogical hands-on scientific training to schools to promote critical, independent and creative thinking (e.g.: Lab in a Box).
  2. provide portable, custom-made, serviceable labs for molecular biology experiments and temporary field work (e.g.: Lab in a Suitcase).
  3. provide networking, training and collaboration opportunities for African life scientists.  
  4. host citizen science initiatives thereby promoting collaborative work between scientists and the public.