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Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai March 30 , 2017
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)/the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) will soon jointly begin research on 'Technology for a sustainable healthcare: Minimally invasive techniques'. This programme offers funding opportunities for joint research cooperation between Dutch and Indian research groups.

The aim of this joint research programme is to stimulate sustainable Indian-Dutch research collaboration by funding joint research projects in the area of medical devices that have the explicit goal to contribute to a more sustainable health care  either in India or in The Netherlands. It also aims to develop innovative technology for a sustainable healthcare system. Sustainable healthcare is defined as a high quality system that is affordable and accessible for every individual, and affordable and sufficiently staffed for society as a whole.

There are three strategic questions to be addressed through this programme. First, how can technology support health and wellbeing of people in order to help them function and participate in society, outside of organized care? The point is to focus on health rather than healthcare. By focusing on prevention, health and wellbeing you will reduce the need for professional healthcare. Second, how can technology enable care to be delivered closer to home? In many cases it is more cost effective and better for patients to deliver care outside of care institutions.

Chronic care should not be managed in hospitals.  Rehabilitation should take place closer to home or even at home. Third, how can technology enable more efficient and personalized care? Technology enables us to do more with less. Technology can allow early and individualized diagnosis and prognosis, less invasive treatment and change work processes all together.

Besides providing solutions to above questions, an additional goal is to stimulate the Dutch and Indian research fields of medical devices on minimally invasive techniques.

The DBT and the ZonMw have called for proposals from eligible scientists. Thematic focus of this call for proposals are that in general a proposal should meet the WHO-definition for medical devices; contribute to a more sustainable healthcare either in India or The Netherlands as defined in this call; and involve (pre)clinical research with the objective to start phase I/II trial (within the term of the project or directly following the project).

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