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Dossier n. 184/2009 [Abstract] The 2007-2009 Research Program between Emilia-Romagna Region and its Universities


This report illustrates the scientific background and the activities of the “Programma di ricerca Regione-Università” launched in 2007 as part of the agreement signed between the two institution (Protocollo di intesa Regione-Università, article 12).

The Program has the 4 “Aziende ospedaliero-universitarie” (Regional NHS-Academic Trusts) as target institutions and in its first edition has been organised in 3 macro-areas:

  • Innovative research (Area 1),
  • Research for clinical governance (Area 2),
  • Research training instrumental to the development of research networks (Area 3).

These three macro-areas are respectively meant to:

  • fund projects around potential innovations that, though already in their preclinical phase, still lack information that are essential (in terms of safety, predictive validity, clinical performance, etc.) to allow their appropriate transfer into clinical practice;
  • assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and appropriateness of specific clinical interventions or modes of services configuration that can inform clinical governance’ activities;
  • test educational programs aimed at improving research competence and skills and nurture the development of research networks.

The Program had a three year global budget of 30 millions Euro (70% for the macro-area Innovative research, 25% for the projects in the Research for clinical governance macro-area, and the remaining 5% for training and education).

The Program has been construed giving to Trusts’ Departments the task of generating research hypotheses and to the Trusts’ Board of Directors (Collegio di Direzione) a governance role being in charge of selecting the most original and promising ideas that will compete for funding at regional level.

The scientific evaluation of the proposals selected by the 4 Regional NHS-Academic Trusts has been adapted to the complexity and length of funding allowed by the specific bids and has been guided by the idea that an early stage peer review can help to improve not only the scientific validity but mostly the relevance and potential impact of the specific research projects. All Area 1 and 2 proposals have been assessed by external panels of referees that have worked first individually and subsequently in study sessions (Area 2). Educational projects (Area 3) have been selected and assessed only by the Program’s Steering Committee (Comitato di indirizzo) - the governance body of the Program appointed by the University-Region standing Conference (Conferenza Regione-Università).

The Regional Health and Social Care Agency was charged of the scientific and organisational coordination of the Program and of supporting the activities of the Steering Committee. The Scientific Secretariat was also responsible for the organisation of the early evaluation workshops (where the research proposals summarised as letters of intent were discussed by interdisciplinary panels of experts), the identification of the domestic and international referees as well as of the subsequent monitoring of the funded studies.

Overall, over the three year period 2007-2009, 71 projects have been funded: 28 in the Innovative research macro-area (Area 1), 27 in the Clinical governance macro-area (Area 2) and 16 were the educational initiatives (Area 3) approved.
The mean total funding for the three years projects of Area 1 was 802,851 Euros (range € 200,000 - € 2,799,823); 266,056 Euros (range € 135,000 - € 755.500) for the two years projects of Area 2, and 102,332 Euros (range € 40,000 - € 170,000) for one year educational initiatives funded (Area 3).

The total costs for the coordination of the Program and projects’ peer review has been 305.000 Euros, corresponding to roughly 1% of the total funds available.

The costs of the personnel of the scientific secretariat has been shouldered by the Health and Social Care Agency.


This report is organised in two sections.

The first presents the scientific and policy background of the Program, the description of the process that led to the identification of the macro-areas and the theme areas within them, the evaluation process carried out in the three macro-areas. This sections ends with a few reflections on the lessons learned in this first edition of the Program and put forth a few proposals for improvement in the second edition (2010-2012).

The second sections contains structured abstracts of the 71 funded projects summarising theirs rationale, objectives, contact details of the principal investigators and total funding awarded.


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pubblicato il 2009/12/01 00:00:00 GMT+1 ultima modifica 2019-01-11T12:18:15+01:00

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