On 18 May, the European Commission (EC) announced that the FET Flagship RESTORE, which was initiated by the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), has been selected to enter the next phase of the FET Flagship competition. A successful FET Flagship will eventually receive around EUR 1 billion for ten years by the EC (9th research framework program) and other sponsors to enable groundbreaking research projects. The research initiative RESTORE has been selected as one of five proposals in the field of "Health and Life Sciences" and is now working with stakeholders to refine its extended concept for the second selection round later this year.
With FET Flagships (Future and Emerging Technologies), the EC has created a new approach for cooperative research in Europe: They are science- and technology-driven, large-scale multidisciplinary research initiatives. The aim is to attract the best scientists and to establish long-term centers of excellence in Europe that are world leaders in their field.
The unifying goal of the RESTORE initiative is the implementation of newly developed Advanced Therapies (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and Biologised Medical Devices – ATMP/bio-MD) in clinical routine to improve patient outcomes with high impact on Europe´s society and economy. These novel therapies are a potential game changer in health care and aim to transform the current focus on “treatment of disease” into one that concentrates on “regeneration of health”.
RESTORE has been formed by eminent leaders from academia and industry and is coordinated by Professor Hans-Dieter Volk, a clinical immunologist and his team at the BCRT and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "We are delighted to progress to the next stage. Success with the initiative will enable us to bring the numerous European innovations in the field of Advanced Therapies to patient care. We are fortunate to have assembled a determined and distinguished team to reach that ultimate goal", explains Professor Volk. The Institute of Regenerative Medicine (IREM) of the University of Zurich adds, “RESTORE is currently integrating additional stakeholders and refining its concept to strengthen the proposal further”. If RESTORE succeeds in the next round, the EC will support the initiative with EUR 1 million for a year to prepare for the final round of competition. Eventually, one or two Flagship initiatives will be selected by the EC to receive a full FET-Flagship grant.
The RESTORE founding partners are world leaders from academic and clinical research and industry: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany), INSERM – Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche (France), University of Zurich (Switzerland), Miltenyi Biotec GmbH (Germany), TissUse GmbH (Germany), Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (United Kingdom), Pluristem Ltd (Israel) and Innovation Acta S.r.l. (Italy). Two further excellent partners – Fondazione Telethon Milan and University Minho joined recently the consortium.
RESTORE welcomes the support of all stakeholders who are committed to achieving this goal.
Please visit the RESTORE website (www.restore-h2020.eu) for more details on the activities of the initiative and become supporters.
IREM (University Zurich): www.irem.uzh.ch
Prof. Simon P. Hoerstrup, MD, PhD; Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University Zurich