04-06 June 2012: Raising awareness of EU-US Biological and Medical Sciences Cooperation

Brussels, May 15 – On the initiative of Seán Kelly, Member of the European Parliament, a series of biomedical sciences cooperation seminars will be held in Washington DC. These meetings aim to encourage further dialogue on international Science Interaction between members of the US Congress, officials from EU Institutions, and leading international scientists as well as their industry partners. A staff briefing in the US Congress on US-EU IT and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructures will round off the sequence of seminars and presentations. European Research Infrastructures and scientific initiatives will be presented on the 4th– 6th of June 2012.

In order to strengthen cooperation in biological and medical sciences between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), the series of meetings will be organized at the Irish, French and Austrian Embassies in Washington DC.


The goal of these events is to raise awareness amongst EU and US decision-makers of the necessity of interactions between three levels of coordination at the international level: scientific, regulatory and political. The current recasts of the Clinical Trials Directive and the Medical Devices Directives, as well as the on-going discussion on Horizon 2020 at the European level, present a great basis for intensive international exchange.


Building thereon, Prof Jacques Demotes-Mainard, Coordinator of European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN), INSERM explains: "Development of interoperability between US and EU systems in terms of infrastructure, funding, legislation, and adoption of coordinated research strategies will create the research capacity required to tackle the major health challenges and to foster evidence-based medical practice worldwide."


Even though ECRIN, Information Technology Future of Medicine (ITFoM) and Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) are currently European in scope, it is important to raise awareness of their international importance. Their proper integration into a global context is essential. "International research collaboration is more important than ever to efficiently respond to the upcoming grand challenges of providing sustainable health care. The events in Washington could be a kick-off to align and develop joint forces of leading initiatives in the field of medical research in Europe and US at the scientific and policy levels", states Prof Kurt Zatloukal, Coordinator of BBMRI, Medical University of Graz.


The sequence of events will start with an evening reception in the Irish Embassy on the 4th June on EU-US Science Collaboration, followed by a morning seminar focusing on ITFoM and Austrian participation in international research initiatives using the example of BBMRI (Tuesday, 5th June, Austrian Embassy). The last session, hosted by the French Embassy (6th June), will bring the Research Infrastructures BBMRI and ECRIN to the centre of focus. A staff briefing on US-EU IT and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructures in the US Congress will give prominence to ITFoM, BBMRI and ECRIN and will be highly influential in developing further EU-US Science Partnership.


The sum of the events will give an opportunity to explore the potential for exploitation and cooperation from the point of view of standards, regulation, legislation, policies, funding and programme operations related to issues such as drug and medical diagnostics development, sustainable health care and scientific evidence-based policy and decision making.


For more information please visit http://www.iscintelligence.com/event.php?id=57


Contact Details

Declan Kirrane

ISC Intelligence in Science

Rue du Trône 4

Brussels, Belgium

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Vera Hörmann

ISC Intelligence in Science

Rue du Trône 4

Brussels, Belgium

+32 2 8888 110

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Notes to Editors

Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) is a pan-European network of existing and new biobanks and biomolecular resources. The infrastructure will include samples from patients and healthy persons (with links to epidemiological and health care information), molecular genomic resources and biocomputational tools to optimally exploit this resource for global biomedical research.


More information at www.bbmri.eu


IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) is a collaborative stream of more than 25 academic institutions and industrial partners with expertise in ICT, the life sciences, public health and medicine. The vision of the ITFoM initiative is to build a personalised model i.e. a "virtual patient". This model would support clinicians and general practitioners when making decisions concerning medical therapy and help them to choose the drug treatment which will have optimal effect on the patient. The potential benefits originating from the ITFoM initiative could be enormous in terms of reduction of healthcare costs as well as for each individual patient.


More information at http://www.itfom.eu


European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) is a sustainable, not-for-profit infrastructure supporting multinational clinical research projects in Europe. Multinational clinical research is hampered by the fragmentation of health and legislative systems in Europe. ECRIN provides information, consulting and services to investigators and sponsors in the preparation and in the conduct of multinational clinical studies, for any category of clinical research and in any disease area. ECRIN is based on the connection of coordinating centres for national networks of clinical research centres and clinical trials units, able to provide support and services to multinational clinical research.


More information at http://www.ecrin.org/