A new call for proposals for the European Union’s e-health programme is due to be launched next week.  Around €75m are available in total for successful projects submitted in this fourth round of awards.

Researchers and company representatives gathered at a workshop in London had a preview of the theme for the new round from Gerard Comyn, the EU’s head of e-health. He said the focus would be on the research and development of ICT-based systems that process and integrate biomedical information from different levels and different places.

Support will go to the best projects that improve health knowledge and processes related to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and the personalisation of healthcare.

The meeting also heard a call from one of the delegates for greater commitment from the Department of Health (DH) to EU e-health research.  He remarked that the absence of any representative involved in DH policy making was ‘very scary’.  “I just wish we could get better involvement from national governments," said the speaker, who asked not to be named.

Department of Trade and Industry representative, Alun German, said the DH had been invited, but had not been able to send anyone along.

The workshop heard from three successful bidders from previous calls for proposals:

  • The Dicoems project which is researching a “collaboration environment" designed to connect emergency staff in real time with analysis laboratories and experts in specific conditions.

  • HealthyAims, an alliance of 26 European partners developing implantable medical devices that can be monitored remotely using wireless technology. Devices under development include a retinal implant, an improved cochlear implant, an artificial urethral sphincter and a glaucoma sensor.

  • The Biopattern project which aims to integrate the research efforts of 31 institutions across Europe to tackle and reduce fragmentation in the new field of biopattern and bioprofile analysis.

The call for proposals starts on 16 November 2004 and runs until 22 March 2005. A fifth round opens in May 2005 and closes next September. Further information is available at the links below or by email at is@fpuk.co.uk.


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