GloPID-R’s strength lies in coordinating the efforts of funders

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided and life is beginning to return to the way it was before, I think everyone has had an opportunity to look back on this period of turmoil.

Dr Shoji Miyagawa

As I look back, if I have one thing to share, it is the magnitude of the contribution of science and technology to the countermeasures to the epidemic. As the international community faced a public health crisis, we applied the scientific knowledge and technology that we had cultivated up to that point, making key contributions not only to the medical field but also to society in general. A simple example would be the development of m-RNA vaccines.

On the other hand, although scientific knowledge and technology has advanced, it has not always been put into practical use sufficiently. During the pandemic, we also experienced moments where science and technology led not only to rational measures and justifiable actions, but to confusion due to excessive information and noise. In responding to the next pandemic that is likely to occur, the contribution of science and technology will be indispensable. Further progress as well as diverse capabilities will be required.

I believe that one of the most important issues being addressed by the global activities of GloPID-R is continuous capacity development in the field of clinical research. I am very pleased that the GloPID-R Funders Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination has been completed, even if the pandemic period was a difficult time to discuss this issue. It is expected that the Roadmap will greatly contribute to the improvement of clinical research coordination and capacity development, particularly in developing countries – the cornerstone of data generation in all medical fields such as diagnosis, treatment, and the prevention of infectious diseases.

GloPID-R is a global network of funding agencies. The most active institutions are in high-income countries, based on good standards in the field of science and technology in Western society. GloPID-R is also a great forum for reflecting on the activities we undertake as funders. Participating in this network and sharing concerns has given me a valuable opportunity to learn, have ideas, and think together with my peers. We have made significant progress in terms of regional initiatives. I believe that it is first necessary to identify regional players, promote mutual understanding, and then deepen the understanding of the missions and usefulness of GloPID-R as a network of funding agencies. Although there are already a number of networks of R&D institutions, and they are producing many results, I think that the situation of the funding agencies that support them varies greatly depending on the region. GloPID-R’s strength lies in coordinating these efforts.

During the pandemic, GloPID-R meetings were mainly held on the web, and due to time differences and time constraints, there were very few opportunities for members to exchange views on GloPID-R activities and to understand the activities of each member. I am concerned that this might lead to an underestimation of the value of our network. As the pandemic ends and life returns to normal, GloPID-R is concentrating on building its core activities. I encourage all members to participate fully in strengthening the network, based on the lessons of the past three years.

When I look to the future of GloPID-R, I have high expectations.

Dr. Shoji Miyagawa
Former Managing Director, Department of Innovation & Clinical Research Center
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.