Research into neglected infectious diseases: international conference - Brussels, 8-9 November

November 7, 2006

Brussels, 6 November 2006

Conference on "Europe's international research cooperation in the field of Neglected Infectious Diseases"
8-9 November 2006 (conference starts at 10:30 sharp)
European Commission, Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels, Belgium

Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, European Commission
In collaboration with John Bowis, Member of the European Parliament (rapporteur on neglected diseases)
More than 300 health experts from Europe and international partner countries, including research institutions, international health organisations, ministries of health and the pharmaceutical industry

On a global scale, neglected infectious diseases (NID) are responsible for an estimated 500 000 deaths and millions of disabilities each year. Not least linked to the fact that 90% of cases occur in the low income countries, investment in research and development of these diseases has been utterly inadequate. However, there is an increasing awareness of this gap, which has been highlighted in a recent report on major and neglected diseases in developing countries prepared by MEP John Bowis and adopted by the European Parliament in 2005. As part of the present and previous research framework programmes of the EU, the international S&T cooperation (INCO) programme has been one of the few international research funding bodies focussing on the control of NIDs. At present there are 45 active projects with a total budget of?42 million in FP6, covering Leishmaniasis, Schistosomiasis, Filariasis, Onchocercosis, Trypanosomiasis, Dengue, Echinoccoccis, Buruli ulcer, childhood infections and others neglected diseases as well health systems and health service issues of disease control.

As the new 7th research framework programme (FP7) is about to start in 2007 with an expanded scope on international research cooperation, the conference aims at strengthening and increasing the impact of EU funded international collaborative research on the control of NIDs with the following specific objectives:

* to discuss future European funding strategies for research on NIDs considering the European Parliament?s recent report and the current international debate on investing in the control of NIDs

* to develop an agenda for NID related Community funding in FP7.

* to link EU-funded projects to the wider field of national and international initiatives for NID control.

The conference is organised by the directorate International Scientific Cooperation of the Research DG of the European Commission, with the support of the European Parliament?s rapporteur on neglected diseases, MEP John Bowis. It will provide a platform for dialogue between the European and non-European scientific community, policy makers, research managers, representatives of relevant international NGOs, UN bodies and other interested parties.

Conference programme

The detailed conference programme for 08-09 November is accessible at

The first day of the conference (Wed, 08 Nov) will focus on research policy issues (such as raising awareness and accessibility of funding), on funding models such as public-private partnership, and on the accessibility of research findings and their translation into policy.

The second day of the conference (Thu, 09 Nov) will focus on scientific issues, outlining the state of the art and providing a forum for discussing diseases-specific as well as health systems specific research needs.

Additional information on this press event:

* A limited number of seats will be made available to journalists during the entire conference (Charlemagne building).

* There will be a reception in the Charlemagne for all participants on 8 November at 18.00. Journalists are welcome to attend.

DG Research
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