Berlin, 3 May 2011: The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition 2011 in Budapest on 4 May 2011 will mark the official launch of the Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Flagship Initiatives by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the European Digital Agenda.
FET Flagships are large-scale, science-driven and mission oriented initiatives that aim to achieve visionary technological goals. The scale of ambition will be over 10 years of coordinated effort, with a budget of up to one billion Euros for each of two Flagships.
To prepare the launch of the FET Flagships, six Pilot Actions will be funded with 1.5 million Euros each for a 12-month period starting in May 2011; in the second half of 2012, two of the Pilots will be selected and launched as full FET Flagship Initiatives in 2013.
As one of the six Pilot Actions, the Information Technology Future of Medicine (ITFoM) project brings together 26 partners and 20 associated members including academic institutes and private companies from 15 different countries.
“They are like The Human Genome projects in which we participated”, says Hans Lehrach, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and The Dahlem Centre for Genome Research and Medical Systems Biology in Berlin, Germany. Professor Lehrach is coordinator of the shortlisted ITFoM project, which aims to revolutionise our health care system.
In the past, innovation in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and computing has been primarily driven by the requirements of “large” physics and a broad spectrum of commercial applications such as entertainment; medicine has played a relatively minor role. This, however, is set to change as the growing demands of data-rich, individualised medicine are likely to surpass those of all other ICT development fields.
As data-intensive analysis and computer intensive modeling become common clinical practice, ICT capacity and organisation will become key limiting factors in medicine; this will result in a shift of resources from personnel-intensive to ICT-intensive applications. Clinical needs will be the driving force behind future ICT innovation.
Data-rich, individualised medicine poses unprecedented challenges for ICT - in terms of hardware, storage and communication. Making personalised medicine a reality will thus require fundamental advances in the computational sciences.
It is with this in mind that ITFoM brings together world leading research groups from across Europe and beyond.
ITFoM proposes a medicine based on computer models (‘virtual patients’) derived from molecular, physiological, anatomical and environmental data generated on every individual patients.
These ‘virtual patients’ will then be used to identify individually optimised prevention/therapy schedules, minimising potential side effects of treatment regimes.
This is the first time that the ICT implications of worldwide individualised patient care will be addressed in combination with genomics and medical requirements. Academic groups from a range of research backgrounds will join forces with their industry-based colleagues in making this proposal a reality.
exploring the potential of novel computing architectures; probabilistic programming languages; information processing paradigms; mathematical methods to model the complexity of biological systems; statistical machine learning methods to predict probable patient responses to combinations of drugs; and algorithms to search for optimal combinations of complex interacting therapies.
The project outcomes will enable the prediction of health, disease, therapy and its effects for individual patients and through application in the clinic will change the future of medicine.