BRUSSELS, January 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Brexit, healthcare management, EU R&D planning and other hot-button topics drive expansion of Brussels-based innovation network to more than 50 members from 17 countries
Rising demand for cross-border cooperation in science and technology is driving a rapid expansion of the Science|Business Network of universities, companies and innovation agencies - with membership passing 50 organisations.
During 2016, 15 new organisations - from France, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, the US, Switzerland and South Africa - joined the Network, pushing the total number of members and partners to 52. This growth reflects an increasing interest, despite today's many political and economic uncertainties, in finding better ways to connect across borders for collaboration in research and innovation, and in the development of policies that affect it.
"There may be fears of global conflict in some quarters, but at least in the area of science and technology we see more, not less, desire to find partners across borders," said Maryline Fiaschi, managing director of Science|Business.
That's reflected in the addition during 2016 of new members and partners including Université Aix-Marseille, the University of Amsterdam, Amgen, Novartis, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Finnish innovation agency Tekes, the Eureka Secretariat, the University of Eastern Finland, the South African Department of Science & Technology, and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. The Network, a membership organisation focused on research and innovation based in Brussels, organises private and public meetings, reports and strategies for members.
Said Naledie Pandor, minister of science and technology for the Republic of South Africa: "International cooperation in science and technology is a strategic imperative for South Africa. We have therefore developed a vibrant and diverse portfolio of partnerships, which enables us to share in international expertise and experience, and importantly contribute our resources as part of a global response to our shared societal challenges.
"In this context we value our strategic cooperation with Science|Business as it permits the deepening and expansion of especially our European ties. We are determined to put global innovation partnerships at the service of our society and continent, and cooperation with Science|Business is a valuable resource for this mission."
Yvon Berland, president of another new member, top-rated Université Aix-Marseille, said: "When we decided to become a member of the Science|Business Network, I considered its two main assets: first, it's the only place where universities and industries, at that level, can collaborate on both research and innovation policies and actions. That's essential for Aix-Marseille University, and for all of us. Second, no other network allows us to conduct substantive long-term projects and at the same time to react very quickly to news".
Another new member, US biotech giant Amgen, became a founding partner of Science|Business' new platform for health policy, Healthy Measures.
Corinne Le Goff, senior vice president, Amgen Europe, said: "In an era of healthcare reform in Europe, Amgen is committed to act as a partner in the healthcare system by providing value-based healthcare (VBHC) solutions. VBHC solutions that are truly patient-centric - integrated across the patient care pathway and personalized to patient conditions, circumstances and preferences - and valuable in the real world, proven through evidence generation, with the aim to enhance health delivery across Europe. We have joined the Science|Business Healthy Measures multi-stakeholder communications platform as we believe that sustainable healthcare systems across Europe will need strong collaboration among trusted partners and key stakeholders."
The Science|Business Network, founded in 2004 by three prominent European science and technology journalists, brings leaders in academia, industry and policy together for regular private and public meetings to debate policy, share intelligence, and develop recommendations to government. It also publishes a regular newsletter on EU research and innovation policy, which today marked its 500th edition.
A special focus of the group during 2017 is planning for the European Union's next Framework Programme for research and innovation; the impact of Brexit on science and education; and the development of open data and cloud computing services for researchers. In addition, the group launched a specialised platform on 8 November 2016 to improve the quality of healthcare around Europe by better use of patient data. Other topics to be covered by the Network during 2017 include R&D into military, maritime and industrial technologies, and the bioeconomy.
SOURCE Science|Business Publishing Ltd