ESF focuses on science driven collaboration between the best European researchers in all disciplines. They also promote the identification and advancement of leading edge science in Europe in close co-operation with their Member Organisations.
“We bring together leading scientists, scholars and funding agencies to explore new directions in research and to plan and implement European level research collaboration in a global context. Our main instruments include conferences, scientific foresights, collaboration programmes and support to outstanding young researchers”.
ESF also manages COST, an intergovernmental framework for European co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research.
Integrative Biology is currently a hot topic in the Life Sciences. The potential applications of Integrative Biology will contribute significantly to maximizing the value of knowledge generated in the biomedical field and the outcome expected for the public health care system. In this context, the strategy developed by the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC), one of the five Standing Committees at ESF, aims to:
- Foster an interdisciplinary approach towards the Functional Genomics domain embracing all the –omics disciplines (including the DNA, RNA, protein and other macromolecules world) and their integration into Systems Biology;
- Focus on biomedical applications emerging from these and related domains, such as Nanomedicine and Structural Medicine; Molecular Imaging, Genetic Epidemiology and Pharmacogenetics in order to advance the promising field of Personalized Medicine also qualified as Individualized pharmacotherapy;
- Develop translational research to overcome boundaries between basic research/science and clinical applications (e.g., application of cell and gene therapies in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, identification and validation of biomarkers and therapeutic/diagnostic tools that will allow the transfer of innovation through a collaborative public-private process of research and development, etc.). In this respect, special attention will be paid to therapeutic domains identified as a burden for European citizens1 : – cardiovascular and respiratory diseases – cancer – allergic, immunological and infectious diseases – neurodegenerative diseases including neurosciences and mental health – diabetes, digestive and renal diseases – rheumatic diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and skin diseases – rare diseases for instance through its sponsorship of The European Rare Diseases Therapeutic Initiative (ERDITI), and specific patient populations like children, the elderly and women.
- Gather expertise and advance the methodology for the evaluation of the socio-economic value of research in the above-mentioned fields. In addition, further attention has been paid on the identification of related regulatory and ethical issues and to the promotion of biomedical research to the European general public and political stakeholders. In this respect EMRC is a permanent observer of the Comité directeur pour la Bioéthique at the European Council and is being involved in further developments brought by the WHO and EMEA to its recommendation to build an open international registry for clinical trials.
- Develop new partnering to support and leverage these activities, i.e. with European Agencies, intergovernmental organizations (EMBO), charities, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, etc. Due to the progressive character of these scientific fields, the EMRC portfolio will provide flexibility to cover newly emerging trends in science in a timely manner.