Dutch-Flemish agreement on RegMed XB | November 7 2016
Prime Ministers Mark Rutte and Geert Bourgeois sign a strategic research agreement
On November 7th, Prime Ministers Mark Rutte and Geert Bourgeois signed a strategic agreement in Gent. A Letter of Intent describing a close collaboration in regenerative medicine research was part of the strategic collaboration between Flanders and the Netherlands. The signing of this agreement means Leuven University, the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and the Dutch RegMed XB Consortium, including the academic hospitals and universities of Leiden, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Maastricht, will partner in a collaborative Regenerative Medicine programme.
New international consortium
The aim is to develop a substantial Dutch-Flemish consortium that collaborates on the regeneration of cells, tissues and organs. The REGMED XB program aims to build a consortium of public institutes, health organisations and industry with a budget of €250 million for 10 years. The Netherlands and Belgium are scientific world leaders in this type of research, and will closely collaborate on topics such as kidney disease and osteoarthritis (the degeneration of cartilage and bone) for better solutions for patients.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioned during this meeting, “We can be truly proud of how far we have come and of the people living in Flanders and the Netherlands who make these achievements in a cultural and economic sense”. The Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation added to this statement: "It is entirely unique that Flemish and Dutch researchers are located very close to another. This is a huge asset for collaboration that we should capitalise on."
Start of a long-lasting relationship
Phase 1 of the RegMed XB program starts early 2017 with a public-private research and valorisation project of 5 years, in which Dutch and Flemish partners will work together. The Dutch part of the project is supported with a budget of around €18 million from 2017 to 2021. This amount has been awarded by universities, regional governments, four health foundations, Health Holland and approximately 15 companies. The Dutch part will concentrate on type 1 diabetes, kidney disease and osteoarthritis. The letter of intent which has been signed, describes the collaboration with Flemish partners regarding kidney disease and osteoarthritis.
Pictured are Clemens van Blitterswijk and Marianne van der Steen (RegMed XB) seated next to Jo Bury (Managing Director, VIB) and Koenraad Debackere (KU Leuven) as the Prime Ministers look on. © Stad Gent.