Brussels, Belgium - 22 November 2012: In the EU, cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more than 1.8 million deaths and costs almost €196 billion every year. CVD research is essential for finding innovative and cost effective approaches to prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. But funding of CVD research is fragmented across Europe, with money coming from different sources and no coordination of topics.
The European Commission (EC) has granted €487,365 to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) project CardioScape, which will survey the European CVD research funding landscape and examine the need for an ESC cardiovascular research foundation. Funding will be provided over 18 months through the EC's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
The Steering Committee is chaired by Professor Frans van de Werf (from University Hospital Leuven, Belgium) and meets for the first time today in Brussels.
"CardioScape will provide intelligence on where cardiovascular research funding is provided and whether it's transnational or national funding," said Scientific Coordinator Professor David Wood (from Imperial College London, UK). "This will allow us to identify where research funding opportunities are strong, where there are gaps and where funding could be improved. We will then make recommendations for future transnational research strategies."
The ESC will be supported by PNO Consultants Ltd, the UK operation of PNO Group. These pan-European innovation consultants have in depth of knowledge of all major grant programmes at regional, national and EU level. James Craven, Director at PNO, said: "We are proud and excited to be working with such a prestigious organisation as the ESC on this EC funded CardioScape project, the results of which will ultimately improve health outcomes for millions of European citizens, and hopefully further the worldwide efforts to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease."
Specific objectives of CardioScape include:
• Survey research activities and funding for CVD research, both public and private, at national and European level
• Create a CVD research and funding database based on the survey results
• Summarise existing research and funding landscape for state-of-the-art CVD research
• Identify gaps, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in European CVD research funding
• Produce and disseminate recommendations for a more coordinated approach to CVD research funding in Europe.
When it comes to defining future research strategy, CardioScape will inform the potential role of an ESC cardiovascular research foundation which could provide grants for transnational research in basic, clinical and population sciences. Currently the ESC does not directly support research apart from providing research fellowships for young investigators.
Professor Wood said: "If, through CardioScape we find there is an opportunity to contribute to the European transnational research agenda and the ESC could fill that gap, that would be a big incentive to create such a foundation."
He concluded: "CardioScape will provide the evidence we need to define where transnational cardiovascular research funding is required and prioritise topics for research in Europe which will benefit patients. This will translate into more effective strategies for treatment and prevention, and produce both health and economic benefits."
The full project title of CardioScape is: "A survey of the European cardiovascular research landscape and recommendations for future transnational research strategy".