Uni Vienna: European Commission supports DigiTwins

DigiTwins received an invitation from the European Commission to enter the next stage of the competition to become an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies. Barbara Prainsack, Professor for Comparative Policy Studies at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna is part of the DigiTwins consortium, which seeks to use digital and computational technologies to reform healthcare and biomedical research for the benefit of citizens and society. The consortium also aims at contributing to Europe’s Digital Single Market.

"Today we’re a significant step closer to the establishment of a system of truly personalized healthcare and health maintenance throughout Europe, which will save millions of lives and billions of healthcare costs in the future", rejoices Prof. Hans Lehrach, who leads the initiative, after the announcement of the news. The DigiTwins Coordination Team gathered to celebrate and to plan the next steps leading up to the submission of the full proposal to the EC in September this year. "We’re well prepared for the next stage of the competition, but the next three months will be marked by intensive efforts together with all partners and stakeholders, to create a convincing application", predicts Dr. Nora Benhabiles, Co-Coordinator of the initiative.

Since its foundation, DigiTwins has grown from an innovative idea to an initiative with more than 200 partners in 32 countries and first applications of its concept in real-life trials. In February, the DigiTwins initiative submitted a first proposal to the EC and thus took the first step, of a three stage process, towards becoming an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). Stage two, in which a full proposal for a candidate FET-Flagship is submitted, kick-started with a DigiTwins partner meeting in Berlin at the end of May. Successful projects receive financial support from the EC over a one-year period to prepare for stage three: the final selection of the FET-Flagships. FET-Flagships are science- and technology-driven, large-scale, multidisciplinary research initiatives built around a visionary unifying goal that are promoted and financed by the European Commission under its Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020 with one billion euros over ten years.

The University of Vienna emphatically supports DigiTwins. The promise to create a personal Digital Twin for every European citizen bears truly transformative potential for our society. In Digital Twins, computer models of the key biological processes within every individual will be used to identify individually optimal therapies as well as preventive and lifestyle measures, without exposing individuals to unnecessary risks and healthcare systems to unnecessary costs.

Interested parties are invited to join the DigiTwins community to contribute actively or simply stay up-to-date on the initiative’s activities via the DigiTwins website (www.digitwins.org).

About DigiTwins

DigiTwins is a large research initiative that aims at establishing a personal Digital Twin for every European citizen. The community consists of more than 200 partners from industry, academic and clinical research institutions in 32 different countries. DigiTwins combines a transdisciplinary team of visionary scientists, clinicians, public health experts, policy makers, medical informatics experts, experts in Artificial Intelligence, experienced science management professionals, serial entrepreneurs, industry researchers and patient group representatives as well as experts from cross-cutting fields, such as economics, regulation, ethics, health insurance, data security and privacy. The initiative is led by Prof. Hans Lehrach (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Dr. Nora Benhabiles (CEA - French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Dr. Rolf Zettl (BIH - Berlin Institute of Health).

For more information, please visit: www.digitwins.org 

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