On the 14th of June 2021, a strategic cooperation agreement will be signed by Sciensano and all Belgian universities, represented by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) and the Conseil des recteurs (CRef). Long-time collaborators for years, the undersigning partners reinforce their commitment to work together closely and to strengthen their partnership, in order to contribute to a healthier society through state-of-the-art research.
The importance of sharing information and expertise for health researchers has once again been highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis. The Belgian universities, represented by the CRef and the VLIR, and the federal public institute for health Sciensano commit to strengthen their partnership. To this end they sign a strategic cooperation agreement and they agree to use a standardized data transfer template. This will improve efficiency and advance inclusiveness of their respective research projects, with specific attention to tools, biological materials and the exchange of data.
The partners agree on the common goal : “to advance the quality of health by joining forces in high-level data-driven research”.
In an interactive webinar Sciensano introduces the 5 research fields in its portfolio. The institute highlights its long-standing expertise in epidemiology and public health, infectious diseases in humans and animals, chemical and physical risks and expertise and service provision to Belgian and supra-national authorities and health professionals. Participants and panelists then discuss opportunities and details to further this partnership.
“Sciensano has a unique and global view of the Belgian health landscape and is fully committed to this partnership with the universities. This agreement will mutually enrich our respective research and mission and let prosper the One Health approach to health research fostered by our institute ”, says Sciensano’s General Director Christian Léonard.
“Advancing the health of our population requires a structural and trusted framework with transparent guidelines that allows government and academia to mutually enrich the available data as the basis for sound policy-making. I am delighted that Sciensano and the Belgian universities embark on a long-term journey of closer collaboration.”, says Luc Sels, President of the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR)
“In the health sciences a revolution is under way, powered by our ability to gather large amounts of genetic and clinical data. This has been key in managing the current pandemic and developing the vaccines that are leading us out of it. During the last 15 months, the data gathered and compiled by Sciensano has become a major source of information for all and a treasure for our scientists. That the collaboration that has grown between Sciensano and our universities is now set on firm ground is an important step for strengthening our biomedical research and our ability to cope with future challenges”, says Pierre Wolper, President of Rectors’ Council of the French-speaking Universities of Belgium (CREF).
Take a look at the terms of the renewed partnership 20210614_protocol_sciensano_cref_vlir.pdf