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A survey of the European cardiovascular research landscape and recommendations for future research strategy

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The state of research on cardiovascular disease in the EU

Researchers have examined the existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) research and innovation landscape across Europe. Their goal was to determine to what extent there was duplication across national research programmes and the gaps hindering innovation.

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The project CARDIOSCAPE (A survey of the European cardiovascular research landscape and recommendations for future research strategy) worked to deliver recommendations for a future CVD research strategy. To this end, the team sought to identify the most important research needs and approaches supporting better valorisation of project results. They also focused on means for enhancing the transmission of scientific findings to clinical practice. Funded by the EU for a 23-month period, the undertaking was led by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in partnership with PNO Consultants – a leading independent innovation grants advisory. A total of 157 organisations from across the EU contributed information on funding provided for CVD research. Project members built on partnerships mobilised by the ESC in recent years to develop a comprehensive network including actors from academia, industry and all areas of the innovation cycle, as well as EU and national policymakers. Cross-disciplinary alliances and a collaborative approach are pegged as vital to innovation in health care and disease prevention. Research returned a range of interesting findings related to CVD research in Europe. For example, of the EUR 876 million awarded for CVD research through open funding schemes from 2010 to 2012, one third was from the EU and two thirds from national sources (public and private). Also, research funding was found to be larger for cancer even though CVD is the most common cause of death in the EU. The project website hosts the first-ever database on CVD research in Europe and provides information on country-specific funding schemes. This non-exhaustive inventory can be referenced for comparison with sources of national funding. Different types of users, including policymakers, funding bodies and researchers, can access the data for examination from very different viewpoints. Ongoing inclusion of new data in this valuable tool will help improve knowledge on CVD research being carried out in the EU. Further, processes developed for data collection, classification and interrogation can be applied to relevant areas of medical research. CARDIOSCAPE has delivered tangible results that will help boost CVD research. Project outcomes are slated to minimise fragmented research efforts and foster a collaborative approach that will ultimately benefit the health sector, researchers and industry, and patients.

Keywords

Cardiovascular disease, research and innovation, research strategy, cardiology, health care

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