May 16th, 2012: the VPH Institute turns 1 year old!
Even though the VPH Institute has just turned one, the process that took to its constitution was long and fairly articulated. All started back in September 2007 when the STEP consortium published a consensus document entitled “Seeding the EuroPhysiome: A Roadmap to the Virtual Physiological Human”, in which it was suggested the possibility to establish a European Institute entirely dedicated to the Virtual Physiological Human.
This idea was re-proposed and expanded in the STEP roadmap 2009 update entitled “A Vision and Strategy for the VPH in 2010 and beyond”, where a concrete implementation plan was proposed with the following time line: “We expect to have a pro tempore board formed by the end of 2010, a draft statute by the end of 2011, and the VPH institute fully operational in 2012, with at least one year of overlapping with some VPH projects funded in Call 2, including the VPH NoE, which will ensure a smooth handover”.
It is with proud we can say all these deadlines were met on time if not anticipated!
The Pro Tempore Board of Directors was appointed in March 2010 and was formed by nine “probi viri”, experts of international fame representing many countries and research sub-domains, which were invested with a very limited mandate: to elaborate a draft statute for the Institute, to be submitted to the public discussion, and then used as a basis for the incorporation.
In late August 2010 the Pro Tempore Board completed its mandate by submitting to public revision the draft statute of the VPH Institute.
At the 2010 VPH Consensus Meeting the incorporation of the VPH Institute was discussed in detail. The draft statute was presented, with specific reference to types of membership and the governance model. It was agreed that for the first year up to ten institutions would have been accepted as founding supporting partners, in order to kick-start the institute, and the general membership would have been launched.
On October 2010 a Call for founding supporting members for the VPH Institute was sent via the VPH News email channel to over 10,000 unique recipients. Preliminary expressions of interest were received from 18 institutions; of them 10 submitted the formal commitment letter before the deadline, and were invited as Founding Supporting Members.
On 24 March 2011 the representatives of the ten founding supporting member institutions met in Leuven (BE) for the Constitution Meeting. The final version of the statute was translated in Flemish, and submitted for incorporation according to the procedures set by the Belgian law.
Finally on May 16th, 2011 the incorporation process was completed and the VPH Institute officially became a legal entity!