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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Europe ‘punches above its weight’ in biomedical research, despite limited funding

The text below is the European Science Foundation's (ESF) Press Release promoting a new paper on the status of biomedical research in Europe - the links we have inserted take you to the ESF publications page - this report is (at the time of writing) the top-most in the list of PDF documents. Of interest, and not really mentioned in the release, is the fact that the report also contains sections on the United States and Canada - though we were surprised to see that there appears to be little coverage of research conducted outside of Europe and North America:

The European Science Foundation’s EMRC publishes new White Paper assessing the current status of biomedical research in Europe in a global context.

European biomedical research is advancing at a great pace compared to the relatively small funds available, and with more funding, it could do better. This is one of the main conclusions from a new White Paper, published by the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC) – the European Science Foundation’s membership organisation for all medical research councils in Europe.
The EMRC White Paper, entitled ‘A Stronger Biomedical Research for a Better European Future’, will be launched at a meeting held in Strasbourg on 29 September 2011 and follows a previous White Paper, “Present Status and Future Strategy for Medical Research In Europe” published four years ago.  
Calling for global collaboration and cohesion in biomedical research, the White Paper analyses the current state of biomedical research within Europe compared with its international collaborators, together with an assessment of new challenges faced in Europe, including changing patterns of diseases, ageing populations and growing cost of healthcare.
Professor Liselotte Højgaard, Chair of the European Medical Research Councils said, “We believe that this White Paper presents a powerful case for the future strategy of biomedical research in Europe, which will benefit society in many ways and will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Europe and the rest of the world and meet the difficult challenges we are facing”.
The White Paper makes five key recommendations which should underlie future policy and strategy for biomedical research in Europe:
1.       Citizens and patients should be closely engaged with biomedical research
2.       The results of biomedical research should be rapidly and efficiently brought to the patient
3.       Biomedical research should be conducted with high quality in an open, honest and transparent way
4.       European biomedical research should be conducted within a global context
5.       Investment should be increased to create the right world-class biomedical research
Author, Dr. Thierry Damerval, Deputy Director of Inserm (France), said: "With investment in biomedical research yielding a return of 40% per year, adequate funding and best practice for biomedical research are not only essential to secure health and welfare in Europe and the rest of the world, but they also makes sound economic sense”.
The White Paper presents a thorough examination of the present status of biomedical research in Europe and the rest of the world. It is available to view online here.

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