Push the envelope
Article: Neuronet
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28th October 2020

This year the 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference was hosted online from 20 to 22 October 2020. The Neuronet sessions held as part of the conference were designed to showcase the work of IMI neurodegeneration projects in key areas (data sharing and accessibility, working with Regulators and HTAs and ensuring patient privacy).

The first session, chaired by Neuronet project coordinator Carlos Díaz, was entitled “Efficient data sharing: a must for science to respond to societal needs”. During this session, Nigel Hughes, Rodrigo Barnes and Colin Veal from the EHDEN and EPAD IMI projects discussed technical solutions that are being developed by IMI projects to overcome key obstacles to effective sharing of health data, including data harmonisation, federated networks, digital data discovery tools and research environments. The second Neuronet session, entitled “Ensuring ethics and patient privacy whilst boosting research”, was chaired by WP4 lead Jean Georges and included presentations from Nathan Lea, Pilar Cañabate and Sébastien Libert of the EMIF, MOPEAD and RADAR-AD projects, showcasing how they have addressed ethical and legal concerns around the use of remote monitoring technologies, autonomy and information governance for big data research.

The next topic to be addressed was Regulatory & HTA assessment, in a session chaired by Diana O’Rourke of NICE. Presentations from Gill Farrar, Jacoline Bouvy and Marco Viceconti illustrated how the AMYPAD, ROADMAP and Mobilise-D IMI projects are actively engaging with European regulators, to identify pathways for approval of neuroimaging and digital biomarkers. Neuronet project leader Lennert Steukers closed off the 2020 Neuronet sessions, moderating a discussion on how COVID-19 has affected large public-private partnership projects. In this roundtable session, IMI project leaders who are experts on mobility disorders, digital biomarkers, stratified medicine and dementia prevention discussed the research challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic, and how to ensure that neurodegenerative disease research remains a priority in the post-COVID period.

Neuronet leaders also participated in other sessions of the the 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference: Lennert Steukers joined the round table discussion ‘Dementia in a changing world’ and Carlos Díaz gave a presentation on sustainability in the plenary session ‘From research and innovation to clinical and care practice’.

The main aim of NEURONET is to set up an efficient platform to boost synergy and collaboration across the IMI projects of the Neurodegenerative Disorders (ND) portfolio, assisting in identifying gaps, multiplying its impact, enhancing its visibility, and facilitating dovetailing with related initiatives in Europe and worldwide.

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