The CORBEL Medical Infrastructure/ Users Forum (MIUF) held its third annual meeting in Paris on 15 October 2018. 

The MIUF is designed to promote close collaboration, at the pan-EU level, between medical research communities, funding bodies, and medical RIs. In particular, its mission consists of promoting the establishment of pan-European scientific communities, providing the scientific content and access to patients; clearly defining the respective roles of infrastructures vs. scientific communities, avoiding gaps, overlaps and fragmentation ; capturing the needs of the scientific communities and of the funders in terms of infrastructure services ; and of ensuring the appropriate development and deployment of these services by one or multiple research infrastructures.

The October 2018 MIUF meeting was intended to discuss

  • the structuring of medical research communities at the pan-European level
  • the emerging needs of medical research projects in the context of the big data and personalised / stratified medicine approach
  • the challenges raised in terms of development and deployment of data services

The session on medical community structuring provided an overview of many recently-funded European initiatives on: infectious diseases (ECRAID), neurosciences (EBRA), vaccines (TRANSVAC-2), paediatrics (IMI C4C) and rare diseases (EPJ-RD). Some of the challenges noted included: project sustainability, quality control, education/training (e.g. in vaccinology), information sharing and strategic vision.

The session on new research models highlighted various ‘success stories’ in the context of the new medical research paradigm in Europe. The potential value of cross-cutting collaboration between academia and industry was underlined in a case study on EATRIS/NeurATRIS. In particular, the challenges for image analysis/machine learning were noted (e.g. data collection, anonymization, clean-up/structuring, storage, sharing, inspection/annotation, processing/analysis, integration). 

The session on personalised medicine and patient stratification focused on developments in today's research landscape: multimodal data management and machine learning processing. Speakers highlighted various issues such as the storage and sharing of data, and the optimisation of research to avoid lengthy (useless) trials.
The final session continued the discussion on data challenges, with speakers detailing issues from the organisation/sorting of data to determining which repository to use.

CORBEL has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 654248.

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