The end of the year is traditionally a period of reflection and new commitments. For the Innovative Medicines Initiative, it also corresponds to the launch of the first IMI 2 projects and the transition to a new management.
Looking back, the accomplishments of IMI during the last five years are recognised worldwide. With a focus on the needs of patients and society, IMI’s projects are significantly contributing to support the development of new medicines as well as the competitiveness of a vibrant biopharmaceutical sector in Europe and advances in regulatory science. Moving forward, we can be confident that IMI will remain an efficient engine for innovation in healthcare.
Before stepping down as Executive Director, I wish to thank all those who made possible the success of the first phase of our public-private partnership. Let's first acknowledge the key contribution of our founding members, the European Commission and EFPIA, which jointly pioneered a new collaborative model to boost innovation in medicines research and development. Of course, warmest thanks are due to the scientists from public institutions, non-profit and private companies as well as patient groups and regulatory authorities who took advantage of this model to develop unprecedented collaborative efforts and deliver impressive results.
Above all, I want to express my deepest gratitude to my collaborators at the IMI Programme Office. Together, we have worked hard to exert our role of honest broker that is critical to the success of multi-stakeholder consortia. I am convinced that they will continue to accomplish their mission with the same remarkable commitment under the leadership of Irene Norstedt, their new acting Executive Director. I wish Irene and her team a most successful start.
For my part, I am looking forward to developing new research and teaching activities as a full Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you !
Brussels, Belgium, 15 December 2014