Earlier this summer, Neuronet underwent a thorough mid-term review at the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). We are happy to report that our independent evaluators concluded that Neuronet is well on track to meet its ambitious objectives: to connect and support the diverse projects of the IMI neurodegeneration (ND) portfolio, enhancing their visibility and multiplying their impacts on neurodegeneration research, for the benefit of patients and society as a whole.
During the review, Neuronet collaborators outlined the key results achieved by the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) to date, divided into three categories: 1) demonstrating the value and impact of the IMI ND portfolio, 2) detecting synergies, creating connections and sharing know-how, and 3) enhancing the visibility of IMI neurodegeneration projects. Specific outputs that were highlighted by Neuronet leaders Carlos Diaz and Lennert Steukers included the Knowledge Base and Asset Map (which provide a detailed overview of the IMI ND projects and their key assets) and initial guidance documents from the four Working Groups on data sharing, patient privacy, regulatory/HTA assessment and sustainability. Presenting an overview of work carried out as part of Workpackage 1, Jacoline Bouvy of NICE outlined the findings of a Neuronet mapping exercise that evaluated global neurodegeneration research activity, as well as preliminary work on an Impact Analysis exercise for the IMI ND portfolio. Representatives of Alzheimer Europe, the partner in charge of communication and dissemination, summarised the Neuronet outreach activities from the first 18 months of the CSA, which included two public events, social media campaigns and other online activities.
During the reviewer feedback session, Neuronet was complimented on the quality of its guidance documents and other reports including the Integrated Programme Analysis, which collated learnings from past collaborations, and developed initial recommendations to facilitate future collaborations. Neuronet was also commended on its integrated, project-centric governance model, with decisions guided by its Scientific Coordination Board (composed of IMI ND project leaders) and cross-project interactions facilitated via the Neuronet Working Groups, Communication Experts’ Community and Task Forces. Going forwards, we will build on the recommendations provided by reviewers, working to create a sustainable platform for public-private collaboration and cooperation in neurodegenerative disease research.
We are grateful to the IMI and the group of external experts for their efforts in reviewing Neuronet, and for providing helpful and constructive feedback. With this positive review in hand, we are very much looking forward to continuing our work in the second half of the CSA!