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New report shines light on importance of EU-UK medical research collaboration

A new report published this week reveals the increased value of partnerships between UK and EU medical researchers – with benefits for patients across Europe, including those facing mental illness.  

MQ joined eight leading UK medical organisations in co-commissioning the work, which was developed by Cancer Research UK.

It highlights how the UK’s contribution to research throughout the EU has nurtured and strengthened scientific co-operation – and argues for Brexit negotiations to ensure the best possible outcome for science and those affected by illnesses across the EU.

Three clear benefits of an effective UK-EU collaboration are outlined:

1) Developing new treatments and technology, including more personalised medicines and intervention

Experts interviewed from across Europe emphasised the UK’s ability to conduct research to discover important new treatments and devices, from medicines which are genetically targeted to interventions for mental health.

2) Helping the next generation of scientists and ensuring they had the right skills to launch their career

The UK’s role as a key trainer of scientists is also laid out in the report. Around 16,000 students from EU countries are enrolled on biomedical courses at UK higher education institutes. Around 20 per cent of EU nationals trained in the UK went on to take up positions in other European countries.

3) Improving clinical trials through UK-EU collaboration providing particular benefit for rarer diseases

UK and EU researchers working together on international clinical trials has been a key area of progress for science and health. This has shown to be particularly useful when investigating rare diseases, where the UK leads on the highest number of trials.

Commenting, our Chief Executive Cynthia Joyce said:

We support the important findings of this report on the value of collaboration. Mental illness presents a major global challenge that requires global solutions.  MQ is proud to work with colleagues across Europe and internationally to support mental health research and foster scientitific collaboration. As Brexit negotiations unfold, it’s vital that opportunities to build and grow this work are championed.

The report – The role of the UK in creating value to EU Science and health – was commissioned by Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, the Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, Association of Medical Research Charities, Wellcome, the Academy of Medical Sciences. The research was undertaken by Technopolis.

Last updated: 2 June 2017

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