2020 will always be recorded as an atypical year. The year when the whole world stopped due to a virus. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic forced public health and biomedical research back to the core of debates and decisions at all levels of society worldwide.
Guided by our Board, and in collaboration with our academies and partners, FEAM participated actively in these debates, by encouraging the exchange of ideas in the search for solutions and pointing to key issues, either through SAPEA or through our European Biomedical Policy Forum on COVID-19 and One Health.
We also felt the need to go beyond health and biomedical research to understand how COVID-19 has affected the lives of European citizens. This is why during the next three years, FEAM will be working in a consortium of 32 institutions on the PERISCOPE Project to shed light on the broad socio-economic and behavioural impacts of COVID-19.
Despite the unforeseen challenges of this year, FEAM has continued to develop its activities and also to grow. In the summer, FEAM led the coordination of a call for experts to contribute to a new joint advice on Improving pandemic preparedness and management. We organised a webinar with the Royal Irish Academy that focused on the policy implications of the ‘Transforming the future of ageing’ report. We also held webinars and developed policy reports in other several topics, such the Regenerative Medicine, International Transfer of Health Data, and the Cancer & Immunotherapy.
We welcomed the Royal Academy of Veterinary Sciences of Spain, the Israeli National Academy of Science in Medicine, and the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Serbian Medical Society to our federation.
The FEAM European Biomedical Policy Forum also saw eight new partners included in the debate on key policy issues for the biomedical community, from areas as diverse as cancer research, through the veterinarian sector to health data sharing.
Our team has also grown. Laure Guillevic (Junior Policy Officer) and Rúben Castro (Communications Officer) joined Laurene Legros (Executive Director), Hannah Whittle (Scientific Policy Officer), Elisa Corritore (Forum Scientific Policy Officer) and Rosa Castro (Senior Scientific Policy Officer), in a clear bet to underline our commitment to better serve our academies.
In 2021 we will continue to evolve as a team, ready to face new challenges and to fulfil our central mission: to promote cooperation between the National Academies of Medicine and Medical Sections of Academies of Sciences in Europe, in the quest to improve the health, safety and well-being of European citizens.
We wish to all our academies and partners happy holidays and a successful new year.
President of FEAM