Impact assessment TBM programme (Applied Biomedical Research) in Flanders

Date de publication : 15 décembre 2013 | langue de rapport : NL

The Flemish programme on Applied Biomedical Research (TBM), funded by the agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT), focuses on a particular niche in biomedical research: Research with a clear societal applicability but limited industrial interest. The programme, initiated in 2006, was oriented towards the development of new therapies, diagnosis and/or specific prevention of diseases. Technopolis Group conducted an impact assessment of the programme, which covered four different aspects:

  1. A thorough analysis of the entire project portfolio;
  2. An investigation of the results, effects and impact of the funded research projects;
  3. An evaluation of the organization, efficiency and effectiveness of the programme including the international position; and
  4. A proposal for relevant indicators to monitor the progress of the programme.

The three main conclusions derived by Technopolis Group were:

  1. The programme was unique in Flanders: There are little funding opportunities for this type of applied biomedical research. The programme helped Flanders to develop as a region for investigator-initiated clinical research;
  2. Many projects already produced applied results: More than 70% of the projects already applied (or expected to apply within 7 months) the results of their research to clinical practice (by means of a new diagnostic, therapy or preventive strategy). An important indicator of success of the programme is that follow up clinical trial studies have been started because of the results of the TBM-funded project;
  3. Projects mainly focused on the level of the individual patient instead of the level of the healthcare system: Many projects were single-centered studies, there were opportunities to increase dissemination of results to other centers (also beyond Flanders).