Creation of a Cypriot network for research and innovation. European IMI programme.

July 3, 2012

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The foundation for creating a network for research and innovation in Cyprus has been set by the meeting for the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) programme, held on July 3, at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

With a budget of €2 billion, this initiative supports collaboration for research projects and promotes the building of networks of industrial and academic experts for the development of innovative medicines in Europe.

The aim of this meeting, at which Health Minister Stavros Malas delivered an address, was to overcome the challenges and constraints facing Cypriot organizations to participate in IMI programmes, as well as the creation of a network in Cyprus of industrial and academic experts who would be able to seek out funding.

Researchers from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations, governmental services and regulatory agencies had the opportunity to discuss and find ways to seek out funds that will support research activities. A common realization was Cyprus’ weakness in absorbing funds destined for research and innovation, in comparison to other European countries.

The director of the IMI, Mr. Michel Goldman, who visited Cyprus specifically for this meeting, briefed participants on the IMI programme aimed at promoting Cypriot participation in the current as well as the future calls for research proposals. On its part, the Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies (KEFEA), which is a member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), noted that the member companies of EFPIA invest billions of euros in research and their desire is to create an ecosystem in Cyprus that is focused on health and will support research and innovation.

Particular emphasis was given the weaknesses resulting from a lack of epidemiological research in Cyprus, where there is a need to create a database for recording and analyzing epidemiological data, which are necessary for identifying risk factors for various diseases and can greatly assist when preventative medicine. With the cooperation of the state and private sector, there is the possibility of implementing this need via the IMI programme.

The organizers of the meeting were the Ministry of Health, the Research Promotion Foundation, the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, and the Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies, which was also the sponsor.

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

The IMI is Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients.

It is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, which is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of EFPIA