This month, two projects from two BIST centres received a total of €14 M in funding from the European Union. IRB Barcelona heads a 5-year project which has received €10 M to implement and systematise tumour genome interpretation for clinical decision making, and the 3-year SUNER-C programme, in which which ICIQ is an academic partner, has been awarded €4 M to accelerate innovation in the solar fuels and chemicals sector.
Helping medical doctors choose the most effective treatment
Cancer is increasingly prevalent in society and the efforts of the research community, doctors, and administrations to find solutions to this disease are huge. However, it cannot be treated in a uniform way, as there are more than 200 types of cancer. In addition, the disease in each patient is unique, because the mutations that give rise to the development of each of the tumors are different in each case.
Dr. Núria López-Bigas, ICREA researcher and head of the Biomedical Genomics lab at IRB Barcelona, is leading a European project that seeks to interpret the profiles of mutations in a specific tumour so that medical doctors can choose the most appropriate treatment for each patient. The platform that analyses potential susceptibilities of each tumour is called Cancer Genome Interpreter and it uses machine-learning and other computational methods to systematically extract information from mutations observed in thousands of tumours—28,000 tumours from 66 types of cancer analysed to date—to improve the interpretation of the variants observed in each patient.
“The Cancer Genome Interpreter, which we have been working on for more than five years, has immense potential and, through this project, we intend to optimise it for its use in hospitals and healthcare centres. We want it to be a key instrument to support the decision-making by clinical oncologists, so that each patient, regardless of the hospital in which the diagnosis is made, receives the most appropriate treatment,” explains Dr. López-Bigas.
Spanning five years, the project has been awarded funding of €10 M by the European Commission, which has greatly valued its main aim: to provide an answer to an unmet medical need. The European Commission has also highlighted the quality of the platform, the expertise of the partners, and the solid implementation plan presented.
Working towards a fossil-free EU economy
To accelerate innovation in the sector of solar fuels and chemicals, the 3-year SUNER-C programme entitled “SUNERGY Community and eco-system for accelerating the development of solar fuels and chemicals” has been funded €4 M by the European Union. The SUNER-C consortium is a unique and balanced partnership of 31 organisations, bringing together a large diversity of partners, expertise, fields, and representatives of all the EU regions. The consortium consists of 13 academic partners including the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), 13 industrial companies, four network organisations and federations, and one Non-Governmental Organisation.
The overarching objective of the SUNER-C project is to create an inclusive innovation community and ecosystem that builds on the current SUNERGY network and includes new stakeholders across Europe. Bringing together fundamental and applied knowledge from various sectors of society as well as often unique resources, the enhanced community will prepare a large-scale European joint action. The goal is to overcome scientific, technological, organisational and socio-economic challenges, accelerate innovation in solar fuels and chemicals, and enable the transition of existing and future technologies from laboratory and demonstrator level to industrial-scale application.
The SUNER-C consortium will also work on the development of a strategic roadmap towards the broad implementation of solar fuels and chemicals, with supporting strategies for innovation and exploitation, with a firm focus on cross-cutting and socio-technical aspects.