3rd Virtual JFS Matchmaking Event

The Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme hosted the 3rd Virtual JFS Matchmaking Event on health-related topics: “Infectious Diseases” (2020 S&T Joint Call) and “Digital Health” (2020 Innovation Joint Call) on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
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The 3rd Southeast Asia – Europe JFS Matchmaking Event took place on October 28th 2020, following the World Health Summit. The matchmaking event was held fully virtually and gave the opportunity to eight SEA and European researchers to introduce their research projects on health-related topics which are at the core of the 2020 S&T and Innovation Joint Calls for Proposals, currently open for submission of research proposals.

The event started with the welcoming speech of Adele Clausen, Service Delivery Manager of SEA-Europe JFS. She emphasized the timeliness of the event as international scientific cooperation in health is absolutely necessary to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The new calls are particularly relevant to the current situation as two topics are focused on health: Infectious Diseases (5th S&T Call) and Digital Health (6th Innovation Call). 

Adele also introduced the JFS scheme and shared with the audience the selection process of projects. Once an application is received it goes through an eligibility check done by the JFS management team. For applications to be eligible, the consortium must include partners from both regions (Europe and Southeast Asia) and from three different participating countries, which is referred to as the 2+1 rule. Then, as each participating country funds its own researchers (with a few exceptions), the proposals are directed to national contact points which will check whether the proposal is eligible according to national regulations. Subsequently, two rounds of peer-review take place and the final selection is announced. For the 5th and 6th Call, the results are expected to be known in May 2021. The deadline for the 5th Call is set on the 15th of December, while the deadline for the 6th call is on the 15th of January. For more information on how to apply please click here.

The event is a first opportunity for researchers interested in applying to the JFS health-related calls to connect with potential partners. Soon our website will host a Partnering Tool to facilitate the construction of bi-regional consortia. In addition, virtual lab tours will be organized.

During the Matchmaking Event, which gathered 66 participants from Europe and Southeast Asia, researchers, selected from the Call for Speakers applications, took the floor to introduce their research project in the intend to find interested partners to bring their research project to the next level. Five presentations focused on Infectious Diseases while three other researchers presented their research ideas on the topic of Digital Health. In many presentations, the COVID-19 pandemic was addressed as either a reason for actions or a subject of study. For example, Rizaldy Taslim Pinzon from Bethesda Hospital / Duta Wacana Christian University School of Medicine (Indonesia), presented a research project on telemedicine for neurological patient. The project has been inspired by the necessity created by the pandemic to avoid for non-COVID-19 related patients to have to travel to the hospital, while at the same time ensuring continuity of treatment and care. Another project, instigated by Heni Mufliah  from the Faculty of Medicine at Universitas Islam Bandung (Indonesia), also build up from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on other diseases and health problems: tuberculosis. In this research project, researchers want to curb the decrease in testing of tuberculosis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic by capitalizing on the co-testing potential of the two diseases. The project aims at sharing innovation and resources to develop one-point care of COVID-19 and tuberculosis. Yet another project proposal, presented by Romulo de Castro from the University of San Agustin (Philippines), aims at introducing AI solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic, where data and AI systems could efficiently foster better policy making. Finally, another Indonesian project presented by Nina Dwi Putri from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Indonesia, addresses the COVID-19 pandemic from an under-researched sample population: pediatric patients. The proposed project aims at identifying the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children.

The other presentations diverged more from the COVID-19 topics and presented new and unique project proposals extremely relevant from the perspective of the JFS scheme. Martin Metzner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA (Germany), introduced his project idea which links material engineering and infectious diseases. The project is focused on the investigation and further development of antimicrobial coatings to prevent the spread of diseases causing agents like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Another project, introduced by  Roland Gilbert from Remenyi Clinical & Translational Research Institute at the Medical City (Philippines) , focuses on antimicrobial resistance, which has been identified as one of the biggest health threat to humans. In this innovative project, researchers propose to harness the power of phage therapy and 3D bioprinting to counter antimicrobial resistance. Another project idea presented by Ucar Baris from BYS Grup (Turkey), which also relies on cutting edge technology, proposes to develop a robotic-care system to support patients with dementia (RODE). Innovation is also at the core of the project idea presented Lalintip Hocharoen from the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (Thailand). The project aims at setting up of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines in animal production capacity in Thailand and South East Asia. After the presentations, participants were given the opportunity to discuss with each speakers in dedicated break-out rooms. There, participants were able to ask questions and network with the speakers to possibly start a cooperation which might lead to a concrete research project in the scope of the new JFS calls.

If you were not able to attend the event and would like to access the slides of the various presentations don’t hesitate to contact us: