The Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe (Biomed Alliance), a consortium of 21 member organizations representing over 400,000 experts, welcomes the E.U.’s decision to create a Strategic Scientific Panel for Health within H2020 as a major step toward more targeted investment in health innovation in Europe. The panel was voted in by the European Parliament in Strasbourg after lengthy negotiations on the overall H2020 proposal, which will run from 2014 to 2020.
Emphasizing the need to better align health research and policy in order to avoid fragmentation, boost innovation and address unmet medical needs, Alliance members embarked on an advocacy campaign for the creation of the Scientific Panel, working with a coalition of health research and policy experts, former national politicians, patient advocates and leaders from the biomedical industry.
“The health science community is at the heart of Europe’s research progress,” said Professor Harald zur Hausen. “Political decisions that are made now will have a long-term effect on European citizens and economies; it is therefore crucial that experts with first-hand experience provide input from the onset.”
The Strategic Scientific Panel for Health will be tasked with a clear mission of orientating and promoting the coordination of health research and innovation across Horizon 2020. The role will include helping to eliminate duplication in research efforts and sharing discoveries across Europe, thereby further promoting collaboration and patient access to new innovations faster than ever before. These efforts also form part of the broader vision for H2020, which seeks to transform Europe into a science and research hub that can compete on the global stage and drive jobs and growth.
The BioMed Alliance hopes the panel will liaise and be the interface with the Member States, industry, regulatory bodies, patients and other stakeholders under Horizon 2020.
Professor Ulf Smith, president of the BioMed Alliance, said, ‘’It is vital that the scientific community and policymakers establish permanent communication and collaboration channels in order to tackle complex societal challenges like health more efficiently than in the past.”