COST Connect – Beating cancer in 2030: mission impossible?

With currently 1.9 million people a year dying of cancer in Europe alone, increasing urgency for a pan-European development of new and better cancer therapies is one of the highest priorities in the EU’s next Research and Innovation Programme (Horizon Europe).

At the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, we contribute to this priority by funding more than 35 networks which focus on cancer research. For that reason and in context of the European Week Against Cancer, on 21 and 22 May we organised a COST Connect on cancer research that brought together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and patient representatives.

Deputy Director-General at DG Research and Innovation, Wolfgang Burtscher, opened the event and highlighted that “COST Actions enable researchers to be more successful in Horizon 2020”.

Above: picture of W. Burtscher addressing the audience at the COST Connect on cancer research.

In several interactive sessions, participants discussed a wide range of topics, such as the need of precision medicine and translational research. Among the participants there was the physicist Dr Sanja Damjanović, Minister of Science of Montenegro, who gave a talk about SEEIIST, a project related to cancer research.

Below there is a short video of Dr Damjanović after participating in the COST Connect:

Beating cancer will require a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach, relying on both discoveries in basic research and innovative methods across disciplines. Collaboration on a pan-European level, and sharing large amounts of data will be key to advance current knowledge and technologies. Enabling research-driven solutions, collecting and sharing oncology data, and a shared European vision to the challenge of beating cancer is the only path to success.

Through its networks, COST enables research collaboration and capacity building across Europe in all fields of science and technology. In order to have a tangible impact in the wider European Research Area, and to reap the full benefits of these networks, we organise the COST Connect events. These are a series of thematic multi-stakeholder workshops providing an open space for researchers and innovators from COST Actions, policymakers and the broader research and innovation community to network on scientific or science-policy-related topics.