Scientists create European consortium for research into human movement

May 11, 2005

Brussels, 10 May 2005

Some of Europe's leading scientists in the field of human motor research have come together to establish the European consortium for research into biological movement (Biomove).

The Biomove initiative is designed to build on a number of international collaborations already existing in this field, enabling the partners to tackle ever more complex questions. Specific examples include gaining a better understanding of muscle degradation in cancer patients, how surgery can improve the mobility of children with cerebral palsy, and characterising changes in muscles and tendons following spinal injuries.

Biomove was established on the initiative of Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. A further four partners are based in the Netherlands, including the Free University Amsterdam and three leading medical centres, and the consortium is currently holding discussions with other potential partners in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Poland and Sweden.

Biomove's founder, Tony Sargeant, told CORDIS News that the consortium's primary objective is establishing practical research collaborations: 'We're interested in joining with partners with world class reputations in the field, publishing in high impact biomedical journals. [...] Europe is facing a time bomb - in 20 years time there will be only one person in full time employment for every person over the age of 60. The longer we can maintain people's mobility, the better their quality of life, and the greater their overall contribution to society.'

Previous collaborations between the Biomove partners have included participation in EU research programmes, such as the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) BETTER-AGEING project. Professor Sargeant explained that the consortium would continue to target European as well as national sources of funding. 'One of the driving forces behind the establishment of Biomove is the need to secure funding. By creating the collaboration first, we are well placed to secure such funding,' he said.

'EU funding can bring together complimentary expertise, equipment, infrastructure and experience from across Europe - and especially from new Member States such as Poland, which have great competence - in a way that no national funding scheme can,' Professor Sargeant added. 'That's the real strength of EU programmes.'

The inaugural Biomove meeting was held in Cheshire in April, and was attended by over 100 delegates active in the field. Professor Sargeant hopes that the discussions that took place there will soon become the basis for new research activities that will ultimately improve the mobility and lives of people of all ages in Europe.

For further information, please consult the following web address:
http:///www.cheshire.mmu.ac.uk/exspsci/ir m/index.php

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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