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A boost for European Life Sciences as ESF launch EuroBioFund


The European Science Foundation will today launch a new initiative to help promote and coordinate direct interaction among European life sciences researchers and funders: EuroBioFund.

The life sciences encompass research fields that have a direct impact on our quality of our health, food and environment including pharmaceuticals, genetics, systems biology and biotechnology. Now, in the post-genomic era, the domain has undergone a revolution in terms of research approaches, new infrastructure needs and technology developments and, now more than ever, we are witnessing new developments which directly impact on our lives.

These developments are taking place throughout the world and, in order for Europe to remain competitive with the US and Asia, the necessary critical mass of expertise and resources must be made available in a coordinated manner. Currently, R & D investment is fragmented among numerous funding bodies across Europe. Now, with support from the European Commission, the ESF will launch this unique initiative to bring together these funding bodies and life sciences researchers to develop a more coordinated strategy for planning and investing in life sciences research. The establishment of EuroBioFund is well timed given that the EUís New Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), will be launched officially as of January 1 2007, with a budget of Ä50 billion to invest in scientific research and innovation.

The three key objectives of the EuroBioFund are:

1. Provide a platform for funding organisations and life science researchers to foster joint research initiatives through networking and brokerage: EuroBioForum

2. Help organise research communities and facilitate bottom-up generation of research programmes of European scale and scope: EuroBioGenerator

3. Shape a new funding way in Europe by helping to develop joint investments and funding of life sciences research: EuroBioAccess

EuroBioFundís new approach will centre on an annual conference, EuroBioForum, and the first will be held in Helsinki 14-15 December 2006. For funders this is a unique opportunity to engage with key life science research groups presenting proposals for cutting-edge pan-European research programmes. From the researcherís side, EuroBioForum provides a forum to promote important research topics to those funding and investing in life sciences R & D.

ĎMoving toward 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,í says Wouter Spek, Director of EuroBioFund.


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