Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EuroBioFund holds 1st annual forum in Helsinki; linking research to funders

To match cutting-edge pan-European research with life sciences funders, EuroBioFund, which is supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the European Commission (EC), has organised its first annual EuroBioForum in Helsinki.

Professor Bertil Andersson, Chief Executive of the ESF, called the two-day event that took place on 14-15 December in the capital city of Finland “an experiment” to bring together researchers and various types of funders from across Europe. High-level representatives from public/private funding foundations, research funding organisations, national innovation agencies, academies, intergovernmental agencies and the bioscience industry participated in the event which was kicked off by the Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Tuula Haatainen.

“We are now setting the ball rolling and there needs to be follow-up action,” Professor Andersson told the audience. The next EuroBioForum is scheduled to take place in Lisbon, Portugal on 15-16 November 2007.

In his remarks about life sciences in Europe to the some 160 participants, Professor Andersson recommended there should be a higher degree of coordination between national public funders and those who are working at the European level. He also mentioned joint efforts among various types of life sciences funders and the need for a coordinated/stronger strategy for research infrastructure in Europe.

... more about:
»Biology »EuroBioForum »EuroBioFund »funders

He noted that Europe needs to be more competitive with the US and Asia. Currently R & D investment is fragmented among numerous funding bodies across Europe. It continues to lag behind Asia and the US in research funding, a fact that many observers warn is crippling the region's economic competitiveness. Efforts to correct this imbalance are urgently needed. EuroBioForum is expected to increase Europe's scientific presence and stimulate research and technology development in the life sciences field.

During the conference, 10 research consortia presented their pioneering research programmes on topics ranging from the production of hydrogen via artificial photosynthesis (SOLAR-H) to learning how to survive without water (DryLife).

EuroNanoPAR (European Nanomaterial Proactive Assessment of Risk) which is headed by Professor Vicki Stone from Napier University’s Centre for Health and the Environment (Edinburgh) in the UK was one of the projects that was presented. The main aim of the project is “to develop and launch a self-sustaining business, offering advisory and testing services on all aspects of occupational, consumer and environmental health, for the European nanotechnology industry,” according to Stone. The five-year project is currently seeking €145 million in funding.

Another research project that was being showcased was METABOTECH. The project is aimed at coordinating European national research efforts in the area of metabolomics - the quantitative and qualitative analysis of small molecules in cells, tissues and body fluids. Metabolic profiles are indicative of changes in metabolic pathways. Consequently, metabolomics is positioned to identifying treatment targets in diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and depression.

“EuroBioForum offers several options to researchers like me,” commented Professor Thomas Hankemeier from the Leiden Amsterdam Center for Drug Research of the Leiden University in the Netherlands who is the head of the METABOTECH project.

“It helps me to establish contacts with other parties and explore potential funding options.”

Besides match making between funders and researchers, EuroBioForum has also invited experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for the life science field. One of the topics of discussion was the promotion of Systems Biology in Europe.

Professor Rudolf Aebersold from the Institute for Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich told participants that the field of System Biology is in need of new data collection technologies if it wants to deliver its promise to society. The field is expected to generate “great opportunities” for researchers, Aebersold added. On the other hand, Adriano Henney; the Director of Global Discovery Enabling Capabilities & Science at AstraZeneca, pointed out that there are still a lot of challenges ahead for the Systems Biology field such as the rising cost of R&D, the challenging of regulatory environment and the fierce competitive market for drugs development.

Wouter Spek, EuroBioFund Director commented “Crosslinking of networks and bridging the gap between research and public/private funders is our main goal and there is still room for improvement in Europe. This first EuroBioForum has been an interesting and stimulating two-days and follow-up actions to develop several of the research consortia presented have already been planned. I We are definitely going to facilitate this in 2007.”

EuroBioFund, which was launched in June 2006, is aimed "to promote and coordinate interaction among European life sciences researchers and funders." The coordinating body has three key objectives. The first of these is to provide a platform for funding organisations and life science researchers to foster joint research initiatives through networking and brokerage. The second goal is to help organise research communities and facilitate "bottom-up" Europe-wide research programs, via the newly-formed EuroBioGenerator. Finally, the EuroBioFund is charged with shaping "a new funding way in Europe by helping to develop joint investments and funding of life sciences research," through the establishment of EuroBioAccess.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) provides a platform for its Member Organisations to advance European research and explore new directions for research at the European level. Established in 1974 as an independent non-governmental organisation, the ESF currently serves 78 Member Organisations across 30 countries.

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Biology EuroBioForum EuroBioFund funders

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>