Dr Mike Hardman, IMI European Medicines Research Training Network (EMTRAIN), UK

The landscape of biomedical science continues to change at an increasing rate. The aging populationand society’s needs have increased the demand for innovative medicines, but cuts in healthcare spending, and the requirements for more cost effective, safer treatments make it even more difficult to develop new treatments. This is further complicated by the challenges posed by advances in emerging science for example, in “omics”, predictive biomarkers, regenerative medicine and manufacturing technology. This rapidly changing landscape demands a new approach to education and training.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the world’s largest public private partnership in health research and development (R&D) was established to address these challenges. IMI is a joint undertaking between the European Union (EU) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Five IMI education and training projects (EMTRAIN, Eu2P, SafeSciMET, PharmaTrain and EUPATI) have been set up specifically to address the emerging gaps (i).

All professionals need to develop and maintain the appropriate competences. Not only is continuous professional development an absolute necessity but now a revolutionary approach is also required. The IMI education and training projects have developed LifeTrain (ii) to ensure broad stakeholder support and help in implementing a new approach.

This presentation will address what has been done so far, what challenges still need to be addressed and most importantly how each individual scientist working in the area of biomedical research needs to be involved to help drive education and training for themselves and others.

(i) http://www.imi.europa.eu/
(ii) Mike Hardman et al LifeTrain: towards a European framework for continuing professional development in biomedical sciences. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 12,407–408 (2013) doi:10.1038/nrd4026 Published online 31 May 2013 http://go.nature.com/Oty93a