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1.  Analysis of pan-African Centres of excellence in health innovation highlights opportunities and challenges for local innovation and financing in the continent 
A pool of 38 pan-African Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in health innovation has been selected and recognized by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), through a competitive criteria based process. The process identified a number of opportunities and challenges for health R&D and innovation in the continent: i) it provides a direct evidence for the existence of innovation capability that can be leveraged to fill specific gaps in the continent; ii) it revealed a research and financing pattern that is largely fragmented and uncoordinated, and iii) it highlights the most frequent funders of health research in the continent. The CoEs are envisioned as an innovative network of public and private institutions with a critical mass of expertise and resources to support projects and a variety of activities for capacity building and scientific exchange, including hosting fellows, trainees, scientists on sabbaticals and exchange with other African and non-African institutions.
PMCID: PMC3492037  PMID: 22838941
3.  The selection of experts evaluating health projects for the EU Sixth Framework Program 
The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP) are the European Union’s funding programmes for research in Europe. The study analyses the features of external experts involved in evaluating the research proposals in FP6 (years 2003–2006) in the area of Life Sciences.
Subjects and methods
Experts were analysed with respect to nationality, gender, organisational affiliation and rotation. The correlations between the number of experts by nationality and scientific research indicators were also explored.
Experts from 70 countries participated, with 70% coming from 10 countries. The gender composition was relatively stable, with approximately 30% of female experts. The majority of experts came from higher education establishments (51%) and 12% from industry. About 40% of experts participated in the evaluation process two or more times. The number of experts by nationality was linearly correlated with gross national income (r = 0.95, p < 0.0001), population (r = 0.91, p < 0.0001), and number of research publications in health sciences (r = 0.93, p < 0.0001). However, using multiple linear regression analysis, only gross national income had partial regression coefficients significantly different from zero (p = 0.017). The observed value of experts for Italy (312) and Belgium (155) were higher than predicted by this regression model (231 and 71 respectively).
The expert panels involved were balanced with respect to nationalities, whereas the gender distribution was lower than the target. There was a satisfactory degree of rotation of experts between evaluation rounds. The percentage of experts from industry was lower than expected.
PMCID: PMC3172421  PMID: 21957333
Framework programs; Evaluators; European commission; Health research; Peer review
5.  Immunity against HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis during Co-Infections with Neglected Infectious Diseases: Recommendations for the European Union Research Priorities 
Author Summary
Infectious diseases remain a major health and socioeconomic problem in many low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. For many years, the three most devastating diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) have received most of the world's attention. However, in rural and impoverished urban areas, a number of infectious diseases remain neglected and cause massive suffering. It has been calculated that a group of 13 neglected infectious diseases affects over one billion people, corresponding to a sixth of the world's population. These diseases include infections with different types of worms and parasites, cholera, and sleeping sickness, and can cause significant mortality and severe disabilities in low-income countries. For most of these diseases, vaccines are either not available, poorly effective, or too expensive. Moreover, these neglected diseases often occur in individuals who are also affected by HIV/AIDS, malaria, or TB, making the problem even more serious and indicating that co-infections are the rule rather than the exception in many geographical areas. To address the importance of combating co-infections, scientists from 14 different countries in Africa and Europe met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on September 9–11, 2007. The message coming from these scientists is that the only possibility for winning the fight against infections in low-income countries is by studying, in the most global way possible, the complex interaction between different infections and conditions of malnourishment. The new scientific and technical tools of the post-genomic era can allow us to reach this goal. However, a concomitant effort in improving education and social conditions will be needed to make the scientific findings effective.
PMCID: PMC2427178  PMID: 18575596

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