23 August 2019

Cooperation Between Copenhagen and Groningen: More Research, Education and Exchange Across Borders


With the signing of a new agreement between the University of Copenhagen and the University of Groningen, the Center for Healthy Aging has officially drawn a heavy line under a stronger collaboration on aging research, education and exchange.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen have joined forces in an official partnership. The signing of an MoU - a Memorandum of Understanding - shall facilitate the opportunities for collaboration within research, education and, not least, exchange of students.

The new agreement shall pave the way for more cooperation, both at university and center level. The agreement is primarily based on an already existing collaboration on biological aging, with researchers from Center for Healthy Aging at the forefront from Danish side.

’At the center, we have worked closely with Groningen for the past 10 years, and for the past five years their Vice Dean, Erik Boddeke, has served on our Scientific Advisory Board. We think the collaboration has developed very positively and would therefore like to take it a step further with an official alliance’, says Managing Director of Center for Healthy Aging, Lene Juel Rasmussen.

Particularly in areas such as research on aging, international collaborations are important. The challenges facing an ageing population are to a great extent the same, across borders, explains Lene Juel Rasmussen.

‘It is absolutely essential that we share our own knowledge and that we learn from others. Otherwise, we will just sit in each of our countries and do the same work. When we draw on each other's knowledge and utilise each other's resources, we all become wiser’.

The knowledge sharing and the partnership will not only be beneficial to the research and education at the two universities. There is also a special focus on outreach, says Anéh Christina Hajdu, Outreach Director at Center for Healthy Aging.

‘Groningen has strong collaborative relationships with the region and municipality. They are good at defining the societal challenges that they can help solve. It is my experience that we can learn quite a bit from them in terms of disseminating our research in society for the benefit of the citizens’, she says.

In the future, the partnership will go far beyond the field of aging. The agreement has just been signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Ulla Wewer, and Dean of the University of Groningen, Marian Joëls.