A Co-ordinated European Cancer Research Funding Policy: Has It Yielded Benefits for Cancer Patients?
Interview with Dr. Conor O'Carroll
Dr. O’Carroll coordinates research strategy in the seven Irish Universities and has significant expertise on European research funding and research policy. In this interview, which accompanies the European Perspectives’ Concise Review: “Emphasising the European Union's Commitment to Cancer Research: A “Helicopter View” of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development”, Dr. O’Carroll highlights the significant contribution that a co-ordinated research funding and policy strategy has made to European science over the last 20 years, how the scientific community has engaged successfully with the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and what this engagement has meant in particular to the cancer researcher, the cancer physician and, most importantly, the cancer patient. Since 2007, the FP7 Programme has invested over €1.1 billion in cancer research, underpinning the innovative translation of research discoveries for the benefit of European citizens. Facilitating the effective interaction of excellent research teams from different countries with complementary skills enhances the capacity of collaborative research projects to address complex diseases such as cancer, allowing the development of innovative solutions that can impact directly on patient care.
Dr. O’Carroll also summarises the opportunities and challenges that the cancer community faces and encourages an active engagement with Horizon 2020, the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2013-2020). He emphasises the positives that were highlighted by European Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn in her speech at the recent EuroScience Open Forum in Dublin. An interview with Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn highlighting the European Commission's commitment to cancer research will be featured in a forthcoming European Perspective.
Cancer incidence is increasing in Europe and will soon surpass cardiovascular disease as the major cause of disease-related mortality. It is vital that we, the cancer community, ensure that our research priorities in Europe reflect this increased disease burden.