1. The Annual Work Plan for 2013 for EU’s Health Programme was adopted on 8th December 2012:
The Work Plan lists the main priorities for 2013 and details which call will be published under the Health Programme. The Health Programme in the remit of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) and calls are managed by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC).
The main priorities for 2013 will be:
- active and healthy ageing – focus on chronic diseases;
- effective ways to invest in health – also health workforce;
- patients’ rights and safety; and
- advice and data, particularly on sustainable health systems.
The Work Plan will also support the implementation of legislation in the following areas:
- safety and quality of tissues, cells and blood;
- cross-border healthcare; and
- pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Calls for proposals for projects, conferences and operating grants are due to be published by mid-December. This is the last Work Plan under the current Health Programme, which is due to end in 2013. A new programme called “Health for Growth” is currently being developed and is due to run from 2014-2020.
2. The European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, has recently published a report on “International Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation: Strategies for a Changing World”.
An Expert Group compiled the report to support the development of an EU international co-operation strategy. Due to a changing global landscape, with newer economies such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa placing science, technology and innovation (STI) at the centre of economic development, the EU risks falling behind these countries and needs to be more strategic and focus on international collaboration and integration. The report concludes with nine recommendations by the Expert Group on creating a strategy for international co-operation in STI:
- The strategy should focus on promoting European attractiveness as an international research and innovation hub;
- Prioritisation of themes and problems is required, including grand challenges and should follow the EU’s priorities for research and innovation;
- Horizon 2020 should be truly open and attractive to the best and brightest researchers in the world;
- The international perspective needs to be fully integrated into all EU research programmes;
- Flexible arrangements within EU and with countries outside EU should be encouraged. Initiatives should build on Member State-led initiatives that expand their successful bilateral activities to several European partners;
- A strong focus on industry and innovation is required;
- Efforts to strengthen framework conditions and removal of barriers to international co-operation should be encouraged;
- Targeted initiatives for strengthening co-operation in selected areas should be encouraged; and
All initiatives must be based on more evidence- or analysis-based decision-making to inform decision making about likely trends and future changes.
3. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has officially launched its 8th Call for proposals.
The 8th Call has five topics:
- Topics under New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB):
- Topic 1C: Innovative Trial Design & Clinical Development (work package 6 of Topic 1)
- Topic 3: Discovery and development of new drugs combating Gram – negative infections
- Topics under the Theme ‘Developing an aetiology-based taxonomy for human diseases’
- Topic A: Approaches to develop a new classification for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and related connective tissue disorders and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Topic B: Approaches to develop a new classification for neurodegenerative disorders with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD)
- European induced pluripotent stem cell bank.
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is 19 March 2013. The final version of the Call text as well as details of how to apply for funding can be found online at:
GP-TCM RA activities:
1. The GP-TCM RA BoD Teleconference: A 2.5-hr Skype teleconference was held on December 18, 2012. The telecon was chaired by Professor Rudolf Bauer and was attended by 8 BoD members. During the meeting President, President-elect, Vice President and Secretary-General reported the activities they each drove in the past two months in and beyond EU and China. Treasurer’s written report was approved. Recent dissemination and outreach activities, publications, membership, website, newsletters, future meetings and non-meeting activities were discussed. The benefits of members, especially corporate members were discussed and agreed. All BoD members were appointed Editorial Board member of the GP-TCM RA Newsletters. With the successful fundraising outcomes and approval by all BoD members, the Association was ready to start the process of registering as an independent charitable organisation.
2. GP-TCM RA President interviewed by Voice of America: On November 29, 2012, Professor Rudolf Bauer was interviewed on the topic “WHO Pursuing Update on Global Strategy for Traditional Medicine”. Rudi also talked about the goals of GP-TCM RA in the interview.
3. Professors Rudolf Bauer and Kelvin Chan attended the 7th International Advisory Board (IAB) Meeting of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS), which was held in Hong Kong on 3rd – 6th December 2012. The meeting discussed the drafts of 63 monographs of HKCMMS Phase VB & VI, which are highly relevant for the establishment of a high quality standard for Chinese materia medica in Hong Kong.
4. Traditional Chinese Medicine Research as a Priority – A follow-up proposal update. Since the proposal was submitted to the UK FP7 National Contact Point (NCP) in early October, GP-TCM members in the following countries have submitted their endorsements to their NCPs: Austria (coordinated by Prof. Rudi Bauer), Belgium (coordinated by Prof. Pierre Duez), Italy (coordinated by Prof. Enrica Bosisio), Luxembourg (coordinated by Dr. Andre Steinmetz and Norway (coordinated by Prof. Odd Georg Nilsen).
1. Architecture Reveals Genome’s Secrets: Three-dimensional genome maps are leading to a deeper understanding of how the genome’s form influences its function.
2. Top 10 Innovations 2012 nominated by The Scientist:
Special News from GP-TCM RA Members:
1. Warmest congratulations to our GP-TCM RA Webmaster Mr. Alan Koo for tieing the knot with his long-time love Kathy Lau on 15th November 2012.
The two exchanged vows at Regal Kowloon Hotel Hong Kong under the watchful eyes of close friends and family. During the wedding banquet, over 250 guests and family members were in good spirits celebrating with the newly-weds. Kathy and Alan recently opened 2 modern Chinese medicine clinics in Hong Kong (http://clinic.river-cam.com/) and this love story of 2 young Chinese medicine practitioners was also featured in The Standards and Hong Kong Daily News, 2 newspapers in Hong Kong.
Alan shares his Hutchison Chevening Scholarship experience in the UK
Recently, Alan was also interviewed by Hutchison Whampoa Sphere Magazine in which he shared his Chevening scholarship experience in the UK.
Acknowledgements The Editorial Board of the GP-TCM RA Newsletters acknowledges the contributions from Professor Rudolf Bauer (Austria), Alan Koo (Hong Kong, China), Mrs. Greer Deal (UK) and Qihe Xu (UK).