The synthesis report recently published by the European Commission identifies 12 barriers to innovation. Of the first four listed, three are strongly aligned with EAMBES position:
- Lack of funding [barrier # 2]
- Funding only covers part of the innovation process [barrier #4]
- Lack of evidence for the benefit of specific innovation [barrier # 8]
Dr. Marco Viceconti, President of EAMBES, expresses his satisfaction: "The report published by the European Commission shows that the greater public shares EAMBES' analysis, notably concerning the "missing mile" in the health technology innovation process, from the completion of research prototypes, to the availability of enough evidences of efficacy for the new technology to attract private investments. It is positive to notice how this synthesis report recognises the need to cover the entire innovation process and in particular the step required
to produce early evidence of efficacy. While the document does not explicitly mention technological research as the primary way to achieve active and healthy ageing, the document is full of technology-related ideas, and the implication is clear that technology must be a key player in achieving active and healthy ageing."
EAMBES must however once again challenge the resistance of some parts of the EC to acknowledge biomedical engineering and health technology research as a scientific and technical domain in its own right, and not merely the application and implementation of established engineering techniques to health-related problems. EAMBES strongly rejects such obsolete conceptions of the social role of technology, based on overwhelming evidence.
Behind this difficulty in recognising the role of biomedical engineering research in modern healthcare, it is easy to see the resistance of some lobbies, academic and otherwise, to surrender part of their influence, in spite of the fact that the world has moved on, promises for miracle cures were undeceived and technology continues to make its quiet revolution that is transforming healthcare.
EAMBES will continue to speak loudly and proudly to all stakeholders and inform and influence public opinion regarding the outstanding impact that thousands of European biomedical engineers we represent have on the daily life of our citizens.
The pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing pursues a triple challenge for Europe: enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while ageing; improve the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems; boost and improve the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.
To download the EAMBES reccomendation to AHAIP, please click on this link.