May 2013

Networking to Understand Sleep Functions and Dysfunctions

The meeting Networking to Understand Sleep Functions and Dysfunctions -The European Basic and Clinical Sleep Research Towards Horizon 2020 was held on May 3, 2013 in Brussels. This meeting was organized by the EU Committee of the ESRS in agreement with the DG Research and Innovation of the EU Commission. The meeting was officially part of the program of the “Month of the Brain”, that has been organized in May 2013 at the initiative of the DG Research and Innovation, and was advertised on the dedicated webpage.

During this event, several present and past ESRS Board members and officers addressed EU officers from different DGs (Philippe Cupers, Head of Section Neuroscience of the DG Research and Innovation; Gilles Bergot, Head of Unity Road Safety of the DG Mobility and Transport; Natascha Sander, Information and Communication Officer, Higher Education “Erasmus” of the DG Education and Culture) on the ongoing activities and goals of the main European Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Networks, in terms of the impact on science, health, education and work/road safety. Several representative from Companies (Philips Research, UCB, Weinmann) and Patient Associations (European Alliance for Restless Legs Syndrome, Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust) were also invited and were actively and very productively involved in the discussion of the different issues.

During this very intense and fruitful meeting, the need of specific calls for Sleep Research in the forthcoming EU Research Framework Horizon 2020 was addressed. Moreover, officers were addressed about the need of more education and training about sleep in Europe and about the forthcoming launch of the “European Standard Education Program in Sleep Medicine”. Finally, the project “Wake-up Bus” which is planned for October 2013 and is aimed at raising awareness among general public of the importance of sleepiness as one of the main causes of road accidents, was presented. The Project, in which around twenty European countries are involved, will end in a meeting at the EU Parliament that will be held on October 15th in Brussels.

Roberto Amici, Chair of the ESRS EU Committee