Brussels, 11 Feb 2004
A new project on medical devices has been allocated over 16 million euro of Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) funding to fight such health problems as spinal cord injuries, vascular diseases, immunological diseases of the nervous system, incontinence, loss of sight and hearing impediments.
This Integrated Project comprising 26 partners, including six small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), from eight different European countries and Israel, will be funded under the IST priority of FP6 over a four year period.
Dr Diana Hodgins, Managing Director of European Technology for Business (ETB) Ltd, who is coordinating the project, explained: 'it is estimated that around 50 per cent of the western population, i.e., around 500 million citizens, suffer from at least one of the health problems targeted in this project. Successful outcomes from this project will improve the quality of life for millions of EU citizens and the long-term cost of treating people will reduce significantly'.
The project aims to develop a cochlear implant; retina implant and glaucoma sensor; technology for providing functional electrical stimulation for upper and lower limbs; an artificial sphincter and sphincter sensor; an implantable pressure sensor to monitor intracranial pressure; an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for human body motion, as well as key technologies to achieve these tools.
The consortium combines partners from a wide range of disciplines who are all experts in their fields and will take the new medical implants from concept to production. As the time from development to market is long, typically ten years, it is expected that some designs will have completed pilot clinical trials at the end of the project while others will be ready for trials.