The Lancet: Foundation highlights the importance of an integrated European approach on stem cells
There is still uncertainty as to whether current funding of embryonic stem cell research by the EU, of €107 million (£86 million) under the forthcoming Horizon2020 research programme, will be cut. Such a move could severely hold back progress across the entire European field, affecting funding opportunities and discouraging young investigators from entering the specialty.
In June, 2012, this spurred leading funders of biomedical research, including the Wellcome Trust and MRC, and patient groups to form a coalition to collectively persuade the European Parliament to continue funding research using embryonic stem cells. The decision on cuts to Horizon2020 is expected to be made during Ireland's EU Presidency. Stephen Sullivan, Chief Scientific Officer at the Irish Stem Cell Foundation, strongly believes that EU funding is important for cementing collaborations, and enhancing the field for individual countries. "Stem cells are a platform technology, which feed into many ancillary areas, for example, neuroscience or drug screening. Europe needs a united front to ensure informed policy development and maintenance of funding for all types of stem cell research."
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