Innovation Partnership for a Roadmap on Vaccines in Europe
IPROVE roadmap informs strategic decisions on the priorities for future vaccine investment 16 March 2016.
IPROVE consortium third high-level consultation meeting on research and innovation gaps in vaccine research to convene in Brussels 12 - 13 March 2015.
Similar to research and innovation in other areas of biomedical research, the vaccine field in Europe suffers from significant fragmentation. In the absence of a critical mass it is unlikely that such a fragmented vaccine ecosystem will be able to respond to Europe's vaccine needs or compete with the growing vaccine Research and Development competency and capacity elsewhere in the world. Without active encouragement it is extremely unlikely that the necessary expertise, capacity and capability will come together in Europe to form a collective critical mass. Such defragmentation needs to be motivated by the appropriate mix of support mechanisms as well as being shepherded by political will, the right processes, and social and economic environment. With a clear vision and leadership in Europe this can be achieved.
Despite the European Union´s efforts to increase the structure and coordination in European research, Europe does not, as yet, have either a coordinated vaccine Research and Development agenda, or the vaccine and biotechnological Research and Development that are being developed in other parts of the world. Although investments focusing on poverty-related diseases have been made, such as vaccines against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, it is thought that these should be complemented with efforts targeting other diseases of major public health importance for European citizens. These should include vaccines against infections affecting adults and the elderly, as well as therapeutic vaccines. Addressing all these gaps requires a clear prioritised vaccines Research and Development agenda and improved coordination between the academic, industrial, regulatory, policy-making and investor communities, as well as a clearer coordinated vision from national and European administrations.
By bringing together a broad range of critical stakeholders, IPROVE aims to defragment vaccine Research and Development in Europe and to develop an innovative comprehensive vision on gaps and priority investment needs for the future of vaccines and vaccinology, looking at the entire innovation chain. This is expected to function as a first basis to sustain Europe’s traditional lead in this sector.
Specific objectives of IPROVE are in particular to:
- Map out and bring together European experts representing key vaccine Research and Development stakeholder groups from industry, academia, public health and research institutes, funding agencies, regulatory bodies, international organisations, and healthcare professionals/service delivery organisations.
- Organise and set-up a workshop-based participatory consultation process around identified priority areas with the main objectives of identifying and assessing common critical gaps and bottlenecks related to vaccine Research and Development in Europe.
- Develop a structured and comprehensive European roadmap collating the output of the consultation process, and to present a clear vision of strategic future priorities to maintain the European Union’s lead in vaccine research, production capacity, and its ability to contribute to global public health needs.
- Disseminate the roadmap at the European Union, Member State and regional levels, leveraging the consortium partners’ networks, through targeted dissemination and outreach activities.
- Implementing a series of consultation workshops surrounding identified priority vaccine Research and Development areas
- Preparation of a strategic roadmap for vaccine Research and Development, vaccination and vaccinology in Europe
- Roadmap dissemination
With the involvement of a large group of stakeholders, IPROVE succeeded in establishing a clear vision of priority innovations and technologies in vaccine and vaccinology, necessary to address infectious and non-infectious threats of importance to public health in Europe and beyond. The IPROVE Roadmap was published at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels in March 2016, and is expected to inform strategic decisions on priorities for future vaccine investment in innovation and technological development at European Union level, as well as individual Member States.