VAMPIRE project researches into eradicating cancer blood supply
The European Commission awards its 50th European Industrial Doctorate (EID) research grant today. The €1.5 million grant is for research into new antibodies that will destroy a tumour's blood vessels and eradicate the tumour. The so-called VAMPIRE project ('Vascular Antibody-Mediated Pharmaceutically Induced tumour Resection') is led by the University of Birmingham in the UK and SomantiX, a Dutch biotech company based in Utrecht. The research is supported by associated European universities, companies and research centres including Swiss science and technology university ETH Zurich and the charity Cancer Research UK. The EID scheme is targeted at projects which bring together business and academic partners in two countries.
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "I am delighted that we have reached this milestone with the European Industrial Doctorate – and there could surely be no better example of the kind of cross-sector collaboration we wish to encourage than this partnership to fight cancer. The EID is an excellent illustration of the added value that EU investment can bring for excellence, innovation and competitiveness by building bridges between academia, research and business."
Professor Roy Bicknell, who will lead the project from Birmingham, said: "The European Industrial Doctorate serves a great need in society. It enables medically and economically important research to go forward, while at the same time training the next generation of leading industrial scientists."
The European Industrial Doctorate was launched as a pilot project in 2012 as part of the Marie Curie Actions(MCA), the European research fellowship programme. The aim of the EID scheme is to provide PhD candidates with professional experience in excellent research projects, as well as to attract more young people into scientific careers.
To be eligible for funding through the EID, a project must bring together one business and one academic partner from two countries. The three-year EID grant enables researchers to alternate between working in both countries, in university laboratories and business premises, under the mentorship of supervisors from the private sector and the university. The training incorporates non-scientific skills such as entrepreneurship, communication and intellectual property management in the curriculum.
The EID grants will be maintained under the renamed Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions as part of the new EU Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation, which starts in January next year.
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