Industry & Commerce

October 11, 2017

The growing role of Big Data in medicine raises an ethical issue for Responsible Research and Innovation: what about privacy and a possible misuse of such information? During “Shaping the Future of Pediatrics” congress in Rome, ASSET met Alberto Tozzi, Research area coordinator and Head of Digital Medicine and Telemedicine Unit at Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome. He suggests that technical solutions can help, but they are not enough, without a cooperation among all the actors (patients, family, hospital, authorities, and so on).

Topic: 

Emerging infectious diseases have a potential for great harm, spreading unchecked in naïve populations, usually poorly prepared to deal with the new threat. The devastating effect of infectious diseases is most strongly felt in low income countries, where the health infrastructure and preparedness plans are at best insufficient.

ASSET is close to its conclusion and a concluding conference will be held in Rome, on October 30-31, to present all the main outcomes of the project. This event will take place at the hotel NH Roma Leonardo Da Vinci and will be targeted to a selected audience of EU stakeholders and policy makers. It is conceived as a mobilization and mutual learning event at local, national and international levels on Science in Society related issues in epidemics and pandemics.

The third issue of the ASSET Paper Series focuses on some highly delicate topics that lie at the intersection of science, ethics, politics, and economics. In the first article of the collection, Donato Greco, epidemiologist and public health expert, discusses about the role and the management of national borders when dealing with both the spread of an infectious disease and the flow of migrants or refugees, citing the recent EU decision on such a matter.

Month by month, the diseases spread across the world, cities fall into panic and some of them are even wiped out by virulent outbreaks, while tenacious experts cooperate to find a cure before it’s too late.

November 21, 2016

“You cannot use old categories to solve new problems”. Piero Bassetti, president of the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, has been one of the pioneers of the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation in Italy. He started talking about these issues many years before they became central in Science-with-and-for-Society policy at a European level. In this interview, he tells us how things have changed ever since.

Topic: 

The exploration and adoption of best practices in health by public institutions and non-governmental organizations as well has been growing in recent years. ASSET experts recognize the importance of these activities. Thus, they will gather examples from all around Europe and present them on a dedicated page.

But what exactly are “best practices”, and what are the differences between best and good practices?

November 9, 2016

In 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic, vaccines were ready and could be supplied only when the peak of the pandemic was already decreasing in most European countries, discouraging people from getting vaccinated. Since the disease was not as severe as it was feared in the beginning, the consequences of this delay were not that serious, even if some lives could have been saved if the vaccines were available in advance. Ebola vaccine also arrived to West Africa when the epidemic was over, while a zika vaccine is still very far away. According to Thomas Breuer, however, GSK Chief Medical Officer, in case of another flu pandemic, a better cooperation among stakeholders and new technologies could accelerate the production and supply of new vaccines.

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MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence