MIL-OSI Translation: A new association brings together medical practice and research

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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: Switzerland – Department of Foreign Affairs in French

Paul Scherrer Institute

Villigen, 04.06.2024 – Doctors from Aargau hospitals will in future be able to apply through the “Association for Medical Research and Innovation in the Canton of Aargau” to devote part of their time to research work. They will then have the opportunity to carry out on-the-job research with teams from ETH Zurich, Empa or the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI for 6 to 24 months.

Progress in medical research and innovation benefits from close collaboration between doctors, on the one hand, and scientists, on the other. But increasing time and cost pressures make it difficult for medical personnel to actively participate in research projects. So much so that daily clinical experience is lacking in the academic world. Conversely, the lack of participation of health professionals delays the integration of new scientific information into practice.

Three Aargau hospitals and three institutions from the ETH Domain have decided to join forces to solve this problem. On June 3, 2024, Kantonsspital Aarau AG, Kantonsspital Baden AG, Hirslanden Klinik Aarau AG, ETH Zurich, Empa and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI jointly founded the “Association for Medical Research and innovation in the canton of Aargau.

In the future, doctors who primarily work clinically in Aargau hospitals will be able to submit a request for research time through this association. In this research framework, they will work on joint projects with scientists from ETH Zurich, Empa or the Paul Scherrer Institute, making use of this on-the-job research time for a period of 6 to 24 months.

Through financial contributions, the association will compensate for the research periods that the hospitals have made possible. For the first five years, the association will receive 1 million francs from participating institutions and hospitals (50%) and the canton of Aargau (50%). With these funds, the association plans to authorize five to eight requests for research time each year. In the long term, it should be supported exclusively by contributions from third parties, for example from foundations or donations.

Share diverse experiences

“The strengths of the ETH Domain range from fundamental research to the development of new technologies,” recalls Christian Rüegg, Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute. For us, establishing contacts with the practice from the start is always an important aspect. We need the practical experience of specialist doctors so that a new development in the medical field can prove itself.”

Christian Rüegg refers to the very successful cooperations that already exist between Aargau hospitals and the ETH domain, including proton therapy and radiopharmacy at PSI as well as the research cooperation “Clinical – Research ETH@KSB” between ETH Zurich and Baden Cantonal Hospital. The Aarau Cantonal Hospital has also already carried out several projects in collaboration with ETH Zurich, for example in the field of robotics in connection with strokes. Empa is also active in the field of health and medical technology: in collaboration with various companies, this institute develops medical implants as well as new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

According to the institutions involved, the cooperation carried out so far has shown that there is a need to deepen and broaden exchanges. One of the defining objectives of this new partnership is what is called translational medicine, or the faster and more effective integration into medical practice of new technologies and new concepts developed by the laboratories of the participating institutions.

Jürg Hans Beer is convinced: “This newly founded association will enrich and accelerate new research and developments in medicine,” believes the doctor, who heads a research group at the University of Zurich and also works clinic at Baden Cantonal Hospital. In the new association, Jürg Hans Beer is currently head of the evaluation committee which screens and evaluates the submitted projects. “The tender procedure is competitive and we evaluate according to clearly defined quality criteria,” he assures.

While the association pays the clinics compensation for losses, the budget for the actual research projects must be provided by other sources. When submitting their application, applicants must provide proof that their projects are funded.

Win-win situation for research institutions, hospitals and the canton

For the ETH Domain, the association represents one of the elements that will enable it to achieve the objective it set in its 2025-2028 Strategic Plan, namely to contribute with its research to the resolution of major challenges. of our time, particularly in the field of human health. Concretely, through the exchange that it will stimulate, the association will make it possible to identify the challenges of clinical practice, to integrate knowledge from practice in time into new developments, but also to test new results and innovations in the daily life of the clinic. With this offer, the hospitals involved will be more attractive as employers. They will also have better access to research results and medical innovation thanks to this program. As for the canton of Aargau, with this association it is investing in its own innovative strength and continues to place itself among the most innovative cantons in Switzerland.

Text: Paul Scherrer Institute PSI/Laura Hennemann

About PSI

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI develops, builds and operates large, complex research facilities and makes them available to the national and international scientific community. The institute’s research areas are focused on future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation as well as the foundations of nature. The training of future generations is a central concern of the PSI. For this reason, around a quarter of our employees are postdocs, doctoral students or apprentices. In total, PSI employs 2,300 people, making it the largest research institute in Switzerland. The annual budget is around CHF 330 million. PSI is part of the ETH domain, the other members being ETH Zurich, ETH Lausanne, Eawag (Institute for Water Research), Empa (Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research ) and the WSL (Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research).

Address for sending questions

Dr Michèle EratInstitut Paul Scherrer PSI 41 56 310 32[French, German, English]


Paul Scherrer Institute

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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