Collaborating across 5 countries through a multi-disciplinary research consortium

Abstract

Widely credited with the invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell acknowledged the importance of collaboration stating, "Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds".
Committed collaboration requires an exchange of ideas in a spirit of mutual trust. This has become more evident in multi-disciplinary research focused on solving the grand challenges facing the world.
But what does ‘committed collaboration’ actually mean for researchers working to solve those challenges? What can we put in place to help university leaders, eager to tear down silos, remember that the goal is not collaboration itself, but results?
One possible answer is ‘amicitia’ – a word borrowed from ancient Rome. In amicitia, collaborative action is performed in an environment of mutual respect balanced with self-interest. 
Twelve leading research groups from five countries embraced amicitia to co-create a synthetic yeast genome by the end of 2018. This project – Yeast 2.0 - is forging new frontiers in the emerging science of synthetic biology, while training 200 students to become the workforce of tomorrow.
Join Professor Pretorius, leader of the Australian node of Yeast 2.0 of Macquarie University, as he explores true amicitia collaboration across geopolitical and disciplinary borders to help create a brighter future.