The Nordic Committee on Bioethics recently organised the conference Bioethics of clinical innovation and unproven methods in collaboration with Centre for Legal Studies in Welfare and Market at the University of Copenhagen. How are clinical innovations and unproven methods developed and introduced in western Nordic health-care systems? What is the legal and regulatory environment concerning unproven methods in medicine? What ethical principles should guide work on emerging treatments and experimentation in hospitals? These three questions were addressed in separate sessions in a day of fruitful discussions.
The number of cancer survivors among children and young people in the Nordic region has never been greater, but little is known about the challenges this patient group faces in the aftermath of cancer treatment. Survivors of childhood cancer may experience difficulty concentrating, fatigue or depression due to various late effects from the disease and the treatment, and also have an increased risk for a wide array of other diseases. More knowledge is needed about the impacts of childhood cancer on subsequent education, working life and family life. With the help of Nordic health registries, the NordForsk-funded SALiCCS project is taking steps to learn more.
"NordForsk’s new Open Invitation mechanism will play a key role in our future success,” says Lars Kloo, the new Chair of the NordForsk Board. He foresees increased involvement among Nordic research funders when the new mechanism is put into use.
NordForsk; the Academy of Finland; Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development; Forte, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare; the Swedish Energy Agency and the Research Council of Norway are issuing a call for proposals under the Nordic Research Programme on Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities. The call has a budget of NOK 50 million and the deadline for the call for proposals is 4 June 2019.
Stakeholders taking part at a meeting in December with NordForsk’s Nordic Research Infrastructure Co-operation Committee (NRICC) in Oslo had a chance to discuss the status of Nordic research infrastructure cooperation as well as how best to facilitate and further expand such cooperation.
NordForsk organised a scientific session, Nordic Registers and Biobanks: A Goldmine for Precision Medicine Research at this year’s AAAS meeting, which was held in Washington D.C. The session addressed how the Nordic registries are used in research, and shed light on how Nordic research councils and policymakers work together to promote cross-border cooperation. Speaking at the session were Camilla Stoltenberg, Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Paul Franks of Lund University and NordForsk's Maria Nilsson.
A joint Nordic-Baltic proposal has received funding from the European Commission to support the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). On request from the five Nordic e-infrastructure providers Nordic eInfrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) coordinated the Nordic-Baltic proposal worth 6 million euros. NeIC will be the coordinator of the EOSC-Nordic project and also lead a Work Package on FAIR data. The project will seek to establish the Nordic and Baltic countries as frontrunners in the take-up of the EOSC concept, principles and approach.
For several centuries, the Nordic countries have collected information on each of their citizens. There are registries in the region dating to the 1700s, with information on birthplaces, marriages and deaths, among other particulars. Today there are even more registries and linking their data together can provide a detailed record of each individual’s journey through life. This treasure trove of information could be a unique source of insight for Nordic researchers. On 17 February, during the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Washington D.C, Dr. Maria Nilsson, talks about how NordForsk has invested heavily in efforts to promote Nordic research cooperation based on registry data.