Some 1600 replies were received by the specific research and technological development programme in the field of biomedicine and health after the 1992 call made by the Commission in the context of the COPERNICUS project (Cooperation in science and Technology with Central and Eastern European Countries). COPERNICUS, with a total available community funding in the region of ECU 55 million, aims to support the rehabilitation of industry and to improve the quality of life in the cooperating countries. In addition to the twelve EEC Member States, these include Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and the Slovak Republic. The project covers seven major Community RTD areas, biomedicine and health being one of these, plus opportunities to participate in COST actions. Response breakdown in the field of biomedicine and health included: Mobility (850 proposals); networks (50 proposals); conferences and workshops (200 proposals); joint research projects (500 proposals). The general scientific quality of these proposals was good, in many cases they were of high quality at an international level. Most fields of biomedical research were covered (extending from very clinical and very fundamental projects into bioengineering and health care systems), the main areas being medical technology, health care systems, research on diseases of major socioeconomic impact, clinical research, applications of biotechnologies in the development of vaccines and diagnostics and therapeutics, and cell and molecular biology. Under COPERNICUS Action D (Participation in specific RTD programmes of the European Communities), 169 requests for participation in the BIOMED programme were made. Of these, 129 met the eligibility criteria, and were then considered in the context of possible linkage with concerted actions likely to be funded under the first call for proposals issued for the BIOMED programme itself. When a potential linkage was found, the BIOMED project leader was asked to evaluate the scientific originality of the COPERNICUS project and its acceptability within the planned concerted action. In this way 21 proposals were shortlisted. A further seven possibilities require extended negotiation between the project and the Central/Eastern European teams. The 28 earmarked proposals are distributed across the target areas of BIOMED as follows: Administration of medicines (1); risk factors and occupational medicine (1); biomedical technology (6); health services research (2); AIDS (4); cancer (8); cardiovascular disease (0); mental illness and neurological disease (2); ageing and age-related health problems and handicaps (3); human genome analysis (0) and research on biomedical ethics (1). It is expected that initial reports on several projects selected under the first BIOMED call, possibly including a number of projects involving COPERNICUS cooperation, will be available in the first quarter of 1993.
Albania, Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania