Announcing: The ESC Grants for Medical Research Innovation


I am a clinical researcher at heart. And, for that reason, I love the opportunity of attending clinical conferences. They are an opportunity to hear the latest developments and innovations in patient care; discuss new data on compounds and medical devices / technology and meet friends and colleagues old and new.

Innovation is the lifeblood of pharmaceutical companies, and it is the driver of better patient care. It comes from all sources – academia, industry and governments. It can be incremental or ‘step-change’.

Today, we are in the middle of one of the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular conference: the European Society of CardiologyESC Congress 2015

During medical congresses, experts from academia, often paired with scientists from pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, present their data from clinical trials. It is a welcome public opportunity to share the data and have it challenged by peers.

This year will be special for us though. As I’ve mentioned before, Boehringer values partnerships. This year, we are supporting the ESC with an independent grant to launch an initiative geared towards encouraging researchers with innovative ideas to tackle thromboembolic diseases. At this congress the ESC will be launching the ‘ESC Grants for Medical Research Innovation’ programme that will offer four grants of up to 400,000 euros each to researchers through a unique and competitive process.

The competitive grant programme, funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, is aimed at scientists working on blood-clotting and the dangerous consequences it can have in certain diseases, including atrial fibrillation, stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. One in four people die from causes related to thrombosis – which is why ongoing research into the area is vital.

The evaluation and selection process will be conducted by a scientific committee independently appointed by the ESC. The committee will draw up a short list who will then be invited to present their proposals live to the Scientific Committee at the European Heart House in Sophia Antipolis, France at an event on December 1 this year.

The Committee will then decide on the spot about the winners.

The committee will also oversee the successful research programmes which should have a publishable outcome or data within 18 months from the grant being awarded. The scheme is open to scientists from around the world.

I echo the comments of my colleague Professor Jörg Kreuzer, head of cardiovascular Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim, who said that our company is “really excited to support the ESC in launching this unique peer challenge grant concept. We believe this will stimulate exciting new research with the ultimate ambition of improving the lives of patients.”

If you are interested in joining this challenge, you can find all the information here