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Background information 

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) is the ICT incubator and pathfinder for new ideas and themes for long-term research in the area of information and communication technologies. It is traditionally organised in FET-Open that accepts proposals on any topic, and FET-Proactive, that on the contrary call specific arguments that are considered by the commission new exciting territories of ICT research that is worth to explore. The VPH initiative is already pursuing funding opportunities under VPH-Proactive action, using a scheme similar to the STEP action; the VPH-FET support action will run from September for 12 month, and will write a FET research roadmap for the VPH that hopefully will influence future FET-Proactive calls. During the meeting I was comforted on the fact that whatever we do in FET Flagship will not disturb this line of action, which will happen in parallel.

Join the Public Forum of the VPH-FET Support Action

Biomed Town is hosting the activities of the Support Action VPH-FET, which aims to develop through a consensus process among experts and stakeholders, a research roadmap on the Future and Emerging Technologies that is necessary to develop in order to make the vision of the Virtual Physiological Human capable of reaching its full potential.

Get Involved!

For those of you who were not on this until now, here are some pointers:

The EC will publish a call for proposal for FET Flagship pilot proposals around the end of July 2010. Call close on Dec 2nd, 2010, but they expect a draft already by 15th Sept, to guide meetings with member states; on Sept 30th there will be an information day. €9m will be given to 5-6 pilot projects aimed to prepare full FET Flagship proposals, to be ready in 12 months. Among them in 2012 two will be selected, to kick-off somewhere in 2013. In spite of the very strong constraints that a flagship project has to meet, the impression is that there will be dozens of proposals; this forces proposals for pilots to stand out already to tackle some of these constraints, among which in my opinion co-funding and the choice of challenge are the principal.

“FET Flagships are proposed to be visionary, large-scale European ICT research initiatives nucleated from FET but cascading into various scientific and technological areas of different maturity, from long term to more technology driven research. Built on established strengths of European research, they will be goal-driven to achieve a key scientific breakthrough, which will serve as strong basis potential for future technological innovation and economic exploitation. FET Flagships are envisioned to run for at least 10 years, on a budget of around up to 100 M€ Euros per year per initiative. The overarching nature and magnitude of these initiatives implies that they can only be realised through a federated effort of the different EC services, along with Member States, regional and other funding agencies, and where appropriate, global partners and industry”.


VPH All Hand's Meeting

July 22, 2010: Barcelona

  • Rationale
On June 10th, 2010 the European Commission organised in Brussels a consultation workshop where many researchers presented their idea for the so-called FET Flagship initiative. Many of these proposals revolved around the idea to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve human health and to better understand human physiopathology. In particular two recurring themes where the use of predictive models and the need for integration into data, information and knowledge. These two themes are at the root of the European Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) initiative, and indeed many participants after my presentation suggested that the VPH might be seen as a blanket concept that embrace very many of the proposals presented.
Another clear impression that emerged from the meeting was that in order to match the scale of ambition required by a Flagship initiative, all these ideas that fit under the VPH blanket should be ideally merged into a single, very strong, proposal that could stand a chance to be selected. Given the call for FET flagship pilot projects opens at the end of July, the time frame is very tight and with many we agreed that the only option was to call for an all hands meeting somewhere in july. Due to a number of constraints we are forced to call this meeting for a prefixed date, July 222nd, 2010, in Barcelona.


  • When and where"""
July 22nd, 2010 - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (ES). Exact time and location will be emailed to all registered participants. For all information on the meeting logistics please contact Mrs. Narcise Basic at UPF <narcisa.basic@upf.edu>.
  • How to register
a) Click this link to a Doodle, add your name and surname, and check the time where you would be available for the meeting during the day, so as to set the start-end time that is most convenient for all: http://www.doodle.com/629im3bs4pc5pw5v
b) sign-on to the VPH FET public forum / mailing list:
1) If you are a member of Biomed Town, subscribe to the VPH-FET public forum by clicking here: http://www.biomedtown.org/biomed_town/VPH/VPH-FET/VPHFETFORUMS/vphfet/pt_subscribe. you will be asked to login first using your Biomed Town password.
2) If you are not a Biomed Town member, please sign-on here: http://www.biomedtown.org/join_form. Biomed Town membership is open and free to anyone with a professional or educational interest in Biomedical Research. Make sure you sign-on as full citizen, or you will not have the permissions to access the forum. To speed up the registration process (that is supervised) please add in the registration form, in the field Invitation Code "VPH FET working group". Once you are a member go back to point 1).

If you are interested to the initiative, please sign on the forum even if you cannot attend the July 22nd meeting.

  • Scope of the meeting
The scope of the meeting is three-fold:
a) Align the VPH vision into a perspective that is proper for a FET flagship, also in term of communication. We need a mission that can be summarised in a title with the necessary "Cool factor", without loosing the general sense of VPH.
b) Identify candidates to the leadership role for this initiative. Just to start with blank slate, I am not myself a candidate to this role; my central role in the VPH initiative prevents me to take on any other important duty, and this is going to be a nearly-full time job, at least for a while.
c) Explore the level of support that a VPH FET Flagship initiative could reasonably expect from the various Member States and the European Industry, so as to ensure that exist the preliminary conditions to aim for a FET Flagship scale of ambition.
The ideal participant should attend with some solid ideas for point a) but ready to revised and merge them with others that are proposed, with the maximum efficacy as the only principle. In addition he or she should poll ahead of the meeting his/her national contacts to explore the level of interest / resources that could be potentially expressed around this idea from that country. you are welcome to forward this invitation to colleagues and/or to officers of funding agencies, ministries, and large European industries that might be interested to attend.
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