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24th edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Prof. Bart Morlion – Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium

Dear Reader,

The European elections 2019 brought many changes in Brussels, but we are happy to see that several of our long-term endorsing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been re-elected. The new European Parliament with newly elected MEPs will, however, offer brand new opportunities for collaboration to ensure that the societal impact of pain will be further addressed at European and national level. We are looking forward to working with you and we wish you all the best for this new legislative term!

To ensure that the societal impact of pain will continue to stay high on the European and national political agenda, SIP is organising the Societal Impact of Pain Symposium 2019 on November 7. The Symposium will be the opportunity to showcase and learn from international and national initiatives related to the key priorities of the SIP Joint Statement. Check out the SIP 2019 program and register soon to ensure your seat at this landmark event for the pain community. The SIP Symposium will also see the ceremony to award the four winners of the Active Citizenship Network Prize on Good Practices in Chronic Pain. who have just been selected by a Jury at the end of June.

During the coming weeks we will focus our communication activities on the second of the four key topics of our SIP Joint Statement Recommendations: “Pain Research”. We appreciate that the European Commission has announced a €13.2 billion budget for the last year of its flagship research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, which is 6.4 percent higher than 2019. The political agreement still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council by the end of the year. In the meantime, the European Commission started preparing Horizon Europe’s implementation to have the first draft work programmes published in time for the programme’s launch on 1 January 2021. In particular, it opened a consultation to define and clarify further the R&D missions, partnerships and strategic orientations for the support in research and innovation and to which SIP will reply. The results of the consultation will shape the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, to guide the work programmes and calls for proposals for Horizon Europe for the first four years (2021-2024).

One great example of an EU funded innovation project in the area of pain is the IMI-PainCare project which started just one year ago. Significant milestones have been reached since then in close collaboration with three patient organisations.

Another landmark appointment is waiting for us. In a few weeks the bi-annual EFIC Congress 2019 will take place from 4-7 September in Valencia, Spain. The representatives of the eight SIP national platforms will come together for the first time to share experiences and to launch the SIP National Toolkit to support the start of further platforms in Europe. Societal Impact of Pain will be addressed in several sessions of the scientific program and at the stands of the SIP partners. Join us in Valencia at this exciting event!

STOP STIGMA! This is the theme of the 2nd edition of the Brain Mind and Pain Patient-Centered Innovation Grant. Application is now open until end of December 2019.

To know more about international and national SIP related conferences and events that will take place in 2019 (e.g., the EFIC congress in September 2019 in Valencia), please consult the SIP calendar.

I wish you a relaxing summer holiday and I look forward to welcome you at EFIC 2019 in Valencia!

Prof. Bart Morlion

Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President of the European Pain Federation EFIC

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