Brussels, 30 Jun 2006
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has launched a new initiative, called EuroBioFund, to promote and coordinate interaction between European life science researchers and funders.
As in many areas of research, Europe's life sciences researchers need to work together and coordinate their activities if they are to compete effectively on the global stage. While there are many sources of funding for life sciences research in Europe, these remain fragmented. The aim of EuroBioFund is to bring together both funders and researchers with a view to developing a more coordinated strategy for planning and investing in life sciences research.
'Moving towards a more coordinated approach to R&D investment in the life sciences is a challenging but necessary step if Europe is to remain an important global player in life sciences and biotechnology research,' said Wouter Spek, Director of EuroBioFund.
EuroBioFund, which is supported by the European Commission, will organise an annual brokerage event called EuroBioForum, which will bring together leading researchers and funding organisations under one roof. Here, top life sciences researchers will have the opportunity to present their research ideas to a range of funding organisations, while funders will be able to compare their policies and discuss synergies with other funders. Ultimately it is hoped that this will create the conditions for networking and decision-making that could lead to transnational funding of such programmes from multiple sources.
The first EuroBioForum will be held in Helsinki in December. Researchers wishing to submit proposals to potential funders at the conference will be selected by the EuroBioFund Steering Committee following an open call for Expressions of Interest.
In the longer term, the aim of EuroBioForum is to establish more coherent mechanisms for organising and funding European life sciences research. A strategy to achieve this will be elaborated and refined during the next three years.