Towards a stronger EU-US research alliance

The European Parliament’s research department recently published a briefing paper entitled “Science and research Upgrading EU-US cooperation”.

The briefing is part of a broader research project on transatlantic cooperation in the light of the upcoming elections in the US and was requested by the Chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the United States. 

When thinking about who the global leaders in research are, generally, the first candidates that come to mind are the US and the EU, who have been long-standing global leaders when it comes to scientific research. However, their strong position is currently being challenged by the rise of China and the other BRIC countries. Due to these new research markets growing exponentially and in order for both the US and the EU to retain their scientific research advantage, a stronger cooperation with each other will be of paramount importance to keep the global leader position. Therefore, the EU and the US should pool their resources in a more efficient way.

Currently, on the EU side, only Horizon 2020 projects in the health sector are open to US researchers. However, other sectors would also benefit from stronger EU-US collaboration. The European Parliament research department which suggests several ways of boosting the transatlantic cooperation.

The briefing paper suggests to:

  • mutually open research programmes which would allow European and US researchers to receive funding from either funding body and would provide opportunities to establish collaborative projects. Research programmes are usually closed for participation, implying that funding will only be made available for researchers from the same geographical areas as the funding body.
  • make the US a member of existing Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) or create new JPIs based on common EU-US interests.
  • improve EU-US coordination on the implementation and use of research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures, as sharing and reusing research data has become an important element of scientific collaboration. Transatlantic cooperation on that aspect should be at the forefront as this in turn would place EU-US collaboration in research in the front row.
  • facilitate transatlantic mobility of researchers: eliminating barriers to transatlantic mobility of researchers could be another way of improving the EU-US collaboration in research.

The Avicenna Alliance (the recently established Association for Predictive Medicine composed by both industry members and the academic membership of the VPH Institute) recognises that with policies on in silico medicine in their infancy, this represents the best opportunity to ensure harmonisation of regulatory systems, to reduce regulatory barriers and uncertainty. This is why through our EU/US/Asia-Pacific Working Group, the Avicenna Alliance is working with the FDA and Commission to reach a common understanding on in silico policies from the beginning rather than individually develop policies and work towards harmonisation at a late stage.

The European Parliament’s research department briefing paper can be found here.


Please note:

the participation to the EU/US/Asia-Pacific Working Group is open to any VPHi members. In case you're interested to contribute, please get in touch with Martina Contin (email to:


Date: 05/10/2016 | Tag: | News: 512 of 1581
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