The value of a valorisation panel
A researcher submitting a proposal to the MVI programme does not stand alone. He is supported by a valorisation panel, a group of people with practical experience.
Member of the programme board, Jeroen van den Hoven: "The members of our valorisation panel think about the research questions. After that, they coach, ask questions, give insights. They ensure that researchers do not loose their grip on reality.' Researcher Wouter Boon acknowledges: 'Our panel poses valuable questions and gives practical tips. For example, our they showed us examples of drug introductions where dilemmas occurred.' He summarises a whole palette of organisations that participated in his research project: patient associations, the Dutch side-effect center Lareb, the Dutch Medicines Agency, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. 'The research provided scientific publications, which is a requirement for us as university researchers. But the contacts we got are equally valuable. For example, we presented the results to the ministry. That's how you can really contribute to the policy.'
Armand Voorschuur of Nefarma was one of the panel members of Boon. Nefarma is the trade association for pharmaceutical companies that focusses on research and development of new drugs. 'Innovations in healthcare are way more than the 'technical' new drugs alone. For example, we also have to think about new services for doctors and patients, such as smart systems that help people to take faith in their medicine.' Innovations in healtcare are often difficult to introduce,' says Voorschuur. "People are conservative, have fear of new things, which often inhibits an innovation. But established interests also play a role. So I am very interested in research on innovation in healthcare. And then that really needs to be dealt with.' That's the reason why Nefarma was very enthousiastic to work with Boon.
Pre-school: 'The admission of medicines is an extensive process. Introducing a new drug has also become very expensive. In the meantime we all realise that this system will not last for a long time. So it's good to see if there are alternatives. One of the questions is how to monitor medications after an early market introduction.'
Connection to top sectors
The MVI program has been so successful that it served as an example for Europe. Within Horizon2020, the European research and innovation programme, money has also been earmarked for research on responsible innovation. Van den Hoven: 'The research field is growing strongly, NWO embraced MVI early. It would have been a shame if it had stayed here.'