Winter 2013/14

  • News from EURADIA
  • 2014 European Commission Joint Action on Chronic Diseases
  • Round up of meetings Autumn 2013
  • World Diabetes Day
  • InterConnect project
  • News from the European Union
  • News on health issues in Europe
  • Events
News from EURADIA

November and World Diabetes Day bring reminders about diabetes and its impact on people of all ages, their families and the cost to society.  The figures for the diabetes epidemic continue to shock – according to a recent press release from the International Diabetes Federation - one in ten of the world’s population will have diabetes by 2030. In response to this, the diabetes stakeholder community in Europe is especially good at getting together to work on innovative ways to address the challenge.  No one organisation can do everything and each has a part to play to bring together their respective experiences and expertise, be they patients, scientists, health care professionals, policy makers or industry.  EURADIA is an alliance bringing organisations together to act effectively and at the same time is also a member of the European Coalition for Diabetes (ECD) that represents a range of diabetes issues to the European institutions on addressing the EU diabetes epidemic.  ECD support for the EU Diabetes Working Group of MEPs (EUDGW) in promoting the European Parliament Resolution on addressing the EU diabetes epidemic  (2012) is an example of such effective collaboration. On 12th November 2013 the diabetes community came together to review progress; the results of the meeting are noted below. 

2014 European Commission Joint Action on Chronic Diseases

We are undoubtedly facing one of the biggest healthcare challenges of our time’
At a meeting of the European Diabetes Working Group (EDWG) and the European Coalition on Diabetes (ECD) on 12th November 2013, Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health, delivered a landmark speech on diabetes.The Commissioner said: "I fully support the goals of the European Parliament Resolution of March 2012 on addressing the EU diabetes epidemic which now need to be implemented across Member States, notably through National Diabetes Plans." Most significantly, Commissioner Borg announced that a Joint Action with Member States on chronic diseases would be launched in early 2014. The diabetes community took note of the fact that this Joint Action will single out diabetes research rather than any other disease. There will be an EU summit on chronic disease in April 2014, and diabetes will remain at the heart of this debate. 

The European Commission are currently shaping a pilot project for developing and implementing successful prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes. To take this action forward, Commissioner Borg will convene an EU Summit on chronic disease in April of 2014 to review EU action so far and where further EU action can support Member States.  As diabetes remained at the heart of this debate Commissioner Borg hoped that stakeholders would play an active role. Mrs Anne-Marie Felton (President of FEND) thanked Commissioner Borg for listening to the diabetes organisations - as they serve the community – and for using diabetes as an example of a chronic disease, as the Commission had promised. EURADIA and the other members of the ECD fully welcome this commitment from Commissioner Borg. Download a pdf of the full statement here. See the EURADIA website for a longer report on this meeting. 

Pictured above: Joao Nabais (President of IDF-Europe), Michael Stumvoll (Chairman of EURADIA) and Anne-Marie Felton (President of FEND) during the meeting in the European Parliament on 12 November 2013

Round up of meetings Autumn 2013

IDEA Summit 2013 Lund University hosted the IDEA Summit on 18th September 2013. Starting with a welcome from Chairman Leif Groop, the day continued with views from academia and industry on what is needed to stimulate major breakthroughs in diabetes research and why this was not currently happening.  EURADIA was given a high profile in the presentation from Stefano Del Prato (University of Pisa) with an overview of the DIAMAP project a wish list for key advances in diabetes and a plea for better coordination of European diabetes research.  More information on the IDEA summit, including a full report and photographs can be found here

FEND conference 20-21 September 2013550 delegates attended the FEND Annual Conference in Barcelona. Following the opening address by Deirde Kyne-Grzebalski (FEND Chair), who welcomed participants to Barcelona, the FEND President, Anne-Marie Felton, spoke about leadership and a new European Parliament Directive on Modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive, in which FEND is engaged along with other organisations to ensure that the specialisation of nursing or diabetes nursing is included. Videos and slides of the keynotes and masterclasses (along with programme and abstract book) are now available here. The conference report can be found here in European Diabetes Nursing 2013, 3:96-97.

EASD 2013 The EASD Annual Meeting took place in Barcelona 23-27 September 2013, with 17,895 participants from 127 countries. EASD 2013 had six parallel sessions over five days, plus two days being devoted to symposia.  The annual prize lectures were given by Miriam Cnop, Torsten Lauritzen, Patrik Rorsman, and Markku Laakso. Other big topics during the conference concerned medical devices along with their standards, a discussion in which the EASD itself has participated. Webcasts, posters, abstracts can be viewed here. Photographs from the meeting can be downloaded from the EASD Facebook page (login required).  
Pictured left: The EURADIA exhibition stand at the EASD meeting: Dr Viktor Joergens (Executive Director EFSD/EASD),Sarah Hills (EURADIA) and Professor Andrew Boulton (President of the EASD and EFSD).   

World Diabetes Day 14 November 2013 

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP and the International Diabetes Federation European Region (IDF Europe) organised a highly successful week of events in Brussels and Strasbourg to mark World Diabetes Day. The day itself received considerable international media attention, with particular focus on the growth of type 2 diabetes and strategies for prevention. The events in Brussels focused on the recent IDF Europe study on access to medicines and medical devices for diabetes care in Europe. Coming at a time when the issue of access to healthcare and the sustainability of healthcare systems is high on the European political agenda, the study identifies the main barriers and inequalities surrounding access to diabetes care in Europe and intends to provide evidence to policy makers and stakeholders to address some of the challenges raised by the diabetes epidemic. 
The UN also published a press release, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paying particular attention to the rise of type 2 diabetes, commenting that, ‘In today’s world of plenty, it is shameful that so many people lack access to healthy foods’. He also drew attention to the fact that although insulin was first used to save the life of a diabetic patient over 100 years ago, international morbidity is still a reality due to lack of access. Ban Ki-moon also pointed to the interlinked issues of sustainable food production and over-consumption.

InterConnect: A global initiative on gene-environment interaction

With the support of the European Commission, InterConnect aims to establish a global network that will facilitate the co-ordination of population research on the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the causes of obesity and diabetes. This four-year project will create the foundation for research to explain the difference in the risk of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and obesity between populations and, in particular, what explains the excess risk of diabetes in certain specific high-risk populations. The global variation in risk of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes between populations is well described and the pattern suggests a complex but (distinct) interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors across the life course. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the relationship between lifestyle behavioural factors and the incidence of type 2 diabetes and also in the identification of genetic factors for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and obesity. This has made the study of gene-environment interactions possible but most studies of interaction have sought to explain variation within populations. Although studying variation in risk within populations is important, the next critical step is to attempt to move beyond within-population examination of gene-environment interaction to the examination of it between-populations. This is the aim of the Interconnect project.

The partners

Project co-ordinator: Professor Nick Wareham, University of Cambridge

University of Amsterdam
University of Helsinki
University of Cambridge
Dublin City University
Enterprise Ireland
German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Medical University of Graz


News from the European Union

Open funding calls (DG Research):
IMI 10th Call 2013
Deadline:  28 January 2014 
Specific Programme(s): COOPERATION
Theme(s): Joint Technology Initiatives [Annex IV-SP1]
Call No 12  - FP7-Infrastructures 2013-2
Identifier: FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2013-2
Deadline:  03 December 2013 at 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Specific Programme(s): CAPACITIES
Theme(s): Research Infrastructures
Open project tenders (DG SANCO):
Luxembourg: Call for tender No SANCO/2013/C1/007 concerning pilot project related to 'Gender-specific mechanisms in coronary artery disease (CAD) in Europe'

Reports (DG Health and Consumers):
“Investing in Health”
This report from the European Commission aims to show how investing in health contributes to the Europe 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It advocates evaluating and modernising current social policies to optimise their effectiveness and efficiency. It also highlights the need for better targeted, individualised and integrated services and benefits. The report notes the avoidable negative effects of type 2 diabetes, which currently affects 7% of Europeans. A French longitudinal study found that diabetes type 2 patients lost an estimated mean time of 1.1 years in the workforce between the ages of 35 and 60.
A European diabetes database 
In order to halt the spread of the diabetes epidemic the EU Public Health Programme has funded the EUBIROD project, which aims at sharing knowledge about prevention, treatment and patient care. EUBIROD is a permanent and sustainable online European Diabetes Register for standardised exchange of data and knowledge between EU countries on diabetes.

Digital Agenda For Europe
Commission focus on advances in addressing obesity and diabetes 
In the EU, half of all citizens are overweight.  Hungary, followed by Great Britain, Ireland, and Malta, are the EU countries with the most overweight populations.  In each, about 25% of the population is seriously overweight.  There are 60 million people with diabetes in Europe; the number of diabetes cases worldwide is expected to double by 2030.  This article focuses on how technology is changing strategies to control weight gain in order to counter obesity, highlighting high-tech surgery; wearable technology to monitor bodily states; the development of nanofibre fabrics to detect diabetes and breath analysis to monitor diabetics. It also focuses on growing levels of social awareness and public policy around sugary drinks such as Coke and Pepsi, and sweeteners.  The article also provides an excellent overview of media reporting around the rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Horizon 2020  
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of just over €70 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
VOICES research project (Views, Opinions and Ideas of Citizens in Europe on Science) is a 1 year EU-funded project with innovative and challenging objectives. VOICES aims at running a Europe-wide public consultation initiative, but also at providing valuable know-how on methodological and procedural aspects for the structural employment of citizens participation in defining the European research agenda in the framework of Responsible Research and Innovation. Citizens’ participation in science and technology policy is the subject of a vast field of research and practice in the domains of science communication and science and technology studies. With the present call, the European Commission wants to include citizens’ preferences, values, needs and expectations in the actual research priorities that will be part of the next framework program “Horizon 2020”. The ecsite network will host 99 focus groups, involving a total of 990 citizens in all European countries to provide ideas, values, needs and expectations about the theme of urban waste and innovation. Find the project factsheet here.
International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk: ‘Eat well, drink well, move - A small step for you, a big step for Europe’, Solvay Library, Brussels, September 17 2013
Recognising that European leadership to counter the obesity epidemic is lacking, the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk hosted a major full day debate at the Solvay Library, Brussels, in September. The event discussed which actions the EU and its member states should take. Guest speakers included Laurette Onkelinx, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, a video message from Ms Van Rompuy, closing words from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, with contributions from top scientists and policy makers, including Jean-Pierre Després, ICCR Scientific Director and Professor Frank Hu, Harvard.

European Parliamentary Questions on diabetes and related subjects
Date: July 8 2013
Question: New 'reverse vaccine' for patients with type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes
Answer: Given by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn
Date: July 24 2013
Question: Falls in diabetes deaths
Answer: Given by Commissioner Borg 

Date: October 3 2013
Question: Legislation on medical devices
Answer: From Commissioner Mimica

Date: 4 October 2013
Question: Childhood obesity and advertising strategies aimed at children 
Answer: Given by Commissioner Borg

News on health issues in Europe

European Patients Forum: Patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare to be implemented soon.  EU Directive 2011/24/EU on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare entered into application on 25 October 2013. EPF has developed a set of recommendations to guide the national authorities and bodies to ensure that this Directive brings tangible benefits for patients and healthcare. The right of patients in Europe to seek healthcare in another member state and be reimbursed is clearly established for the first time,

Health actors unite to call on EU to put people’s health and well-being back on top of its political priorities On 4 and 5 September and in an official event of the Lithuanian Presidency, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) celebrated 20 years helping shape Europe’s public health. This two-day conference addressed the current failure of European decision-makers to ensure that ordinary people's health and well-being are sufficiently protected and promoted.


1st ICAN Conference Series: Cardiometabolic Diseases
12-14 December 2013, Paris, France
Deadline for registration: see here for further details
ATTD 2014: 7th International Conference on Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes
5-8 February 2014, Vienna, Austria
Deadline for registration: see here for further details
EASD Diabetes Technology 2014 Conference
26 – 27 February 2014, Düsseldorf, Germany           
Deadline for abstract submissions: 16  December 2014
Deadline for registration: 31 January 2014
3rd International Conference on Prehypertension, Hypertension and Cardio Metabolic Syndrome
27-30 March 2014, Warsaw, Poland
Deadline for registration: 13th March, 2014

The 13th International Primary Care Diabetes Europe Conference 2014: Diabetes Education in Multimorbidity and Hypoglycaemic Management
23-24 May 2014, Barcelona, Spain
Deadline for abstracts: 3 March 2014
Deadline for online registration: 5 May 2014 

Send us your news

EURADIA publishes meeting and deadline dates on its website (under News – Diary Dates) and will include relevant reports and articles in its newsletter.  Contact

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EURADIA: The Alliance for European Diabetes Research

EURADIA is an alliance of 16 organisations, seven non-profit organisations and nine health care companies (as of November 2013) working together to further the cause of diabetes research in Europe. EURADIA has existed since 2003 and as a registered non-profit entity in Germany since 2007 and we have recently obtained charity status in the UK. EURADIA serves as a visible and effective advocate for European diabetes research at the highest political levels, representing the best interests of both academia and the healthcare industry. The European Commission and Parliament recognise EURADIA as a unique alliance and an important facilitator of public-private partnerships. 

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