Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 1,09 million
To gain better understanding of the physiological ageing processes occurring at the level of the whole individual; to study mechanisms underlying age-related functional decline; to improve existing extracorporeal oxygenator devices and to develop alternative ones; and to monitor the incidence and prevalence of congenital abnormalities with a view to allowing early institution of possible remedial measures.


Based on experience gained in exploratory activities, the CREST subcommittee "Comite de Recherche Medicale" (CRM) suggested as components of the first programme of concerted research actions, three projects related to the fields of cellular ageing, extracorporeal oxygenation and registration of congenital abnormalities.
Within the limits of the Community's powers, the function of the CRM, in order to ensure the implementation of the Council resolution of 14 January 1974 (Official Journal No C 7 of 29.1.1974) on the coordination of national policies in the field of science and technology, was to advise and assist CREST on the scientific and technical aspects of research and development in the fields of medicine and public health.

The Council adopted three multiannual concerted actions in these fields, by considering the feasibility of coordination, and by taking into account the relevant activities of appropriate international organizations such as WHO, OECD, Council of Europe, European Medical Research Councils, European Science Foundation, etc.

The concerted action approach was selected, because it was felt that concerted actions in different areas would help to act as crystallizing points for developing a common policy, given the fact that medical research policies in the various Member States remained widely diversified and based on non-comparable structures.


Three concerted actions:

- Registration of congenital abnormalities and twins (EUROCAT), Council Decision 78/167/EEC:
. Registration of congenital malformations as well as of inherited biochemical and chromosome abnormalities in selected regions of the Community (progressively extended to abnormalities of the nervous system, Down's syndrome, gross abnormalities of the limbs, multiple abnormalities, phenylketonuria and coeliac disease);
. Registration of twins and multiple pregnancies in selected regions of the Community;
. Relevant methodological studies in order to obtain an optimal coordination of both existing national registers and registration procedures;

- Cellular ageing and decreased functional capacity of organs (EURAGE), Council Decision 78/168/EEC:
. Cellular basis of liver ageing:
. Biophysical and biochemical studies at organ, cellular and subcellular level of the progressive age-associated functional alterations, including comparative studies in other cell types;
. Immune response during ageing:
. Oriented studies both in animals and, to a limited extent, in humans of the age-induced changes in the immune system with emphasis on immunodeficiencies and possibilities of therapy;
. Ageing of the crystalline lens:
Physiological, morphological and biochemical studies in human and animal tissues of the age-related functional alterations leading to senile cataracts;

- Extracorporeal oxygenation (EUROXY), Council Decision 78/169/EEC:
. Continuous improvement in performance of present oxygenator principles with respect to the limitations set by diffusion resistance and blood trauma;
. Continuous development of alternative oxygenation principles and testing for their clinical applicability;
. Development of methods for continuous control and dynamic compensation of the patient's respiratory, circulatory and metabolic deficiencies.


The concerted action method implied that the actual research is decided upon, carried out and totally financed by national institutes, and the Commission only provided and organized coordination. In terms of budget, the total cost of a concerted action is the sum of all national contributions plus the Commission's contribution for coordination.

It had been felt desirable that non-Member States, particularly European ones, should be welcome to be associated with the concerted actions. This was made possible through participation, at their own cost, within the framework of COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and technical Research).
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