A Coordination and Support Action to prepare UNCAN.eu platform
The UNCAN.eu initiative comprises six essential work packages, each playing a unique role in advancing cancer research and addressing critical challenges.
The coordination, governance and management of the “4.UNCAN.eu” consortium is ensured by INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, France – www.inserm.fr) and its subsidiary Inserm Transfert (WP1).
Learn more about our collaborative effort and how each WP is dedicated to addressing vital aspects of cancer research and care.
WP1 – Coordination and Management of the CSA
WP1 main objective is to ensure effective and efficient coordination and management of the 4.UNCAN.eu consortium. This includes governance to monitor project progress towards set objectives, anticipate possible hurdles, solve such issues, and ensure fulfilment of the project results by all partners. WP1 is also acting as the interface between the consortium and the European Commission (EC), and is responsible for keeping each partner, including the EC, fully informed, and updating the program following interactions with EC, stakeholders, and the management board. WP1 will gather conclusions drawn from every other WPs to write the final version of the blueprint for establishing a European Federated Cancer Research Data Hub, known as “UNCAN.eu”.
WP2 – Identification of cancer research challenges to address future EU priorities & research policies
The ultimate goal of WP2 is to identify the most challenging research needs in terms of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and care, that need to be addressed by UNCAN.eu and to propose mechanisms (funding and organizational schemes) to address them, in complete alignment with the priorities by the EU Mission Cancer and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. For the definition of these challenges in cancer research, the project sought to design a methodology through an inclusive consensus process that integrates the inputs from all relevant stakeholders, namely patient representatives, basic and translational researchers, data scientists, and clinicians from all over Europe. The proposed process includes the selection of the aforementioned experts, gathered in Expert Working Groups and participating in a Delphi questionnaire, designed to refine research priorities within 6 areas: (1) cancer prevention, (ii) early diagnosis, (iii) sensitivity and resistance to treatment, (iv) cancer and ageing, (v) paediatric cancer, and (vi) survivorship. Two workshops involving the selected experts and representatives of each WP, helped identify ambitious use cases addressing the cancer research challenges that need to be tackled at the supranational level, within the UNCAN.eu framework. These research use cases will be addressed by international research teams, which will generate new standardised and harmonised data to help build the UNCAN.eu platform.
WP3 – Work package WP3 – Mapping of European Research Infrastructures and Initiatives Roadmap for a European Federated Cancer Research Data Hub
WP3 is dedicated to mapping the existing areas of excellence and expertise found throughout European research infrastructures and initiatives. These resources play a vital role in the creation and operation of the Cancer Data Hub that defines UNCAN.eu and in addressing the challenges outlined in WP2. The primary objectives of WP3 encompass several key aspects. Firstly, it aims to explore the potential ways in which existing research infrastructures, data platforms, digital tools, and technologies can effectively support cancer research. Secondly, WP3 strives to identify any gaps and roadblocks that might exist in the generation, availability, accessibility, and interoperability of research data sets that are pertinent to the future requirements of cancer research. Lastly, its ultimate goal is to provide a blueprint for the establishment of a European Federated Cancer Research Data Hub. This Hub will be designed to ensure seamless data interoperability and re-utilization while upholding strict privacy protection standards, adhering to FAIR data principles, and actively contributing to the overarching European data strategy.
WP4 – Patients and European Citizens in cancer research
Led by two cancer patients associations, WP4 objective is to integrate and empower patients, patient advocacy groups, and citizens across Europe in Cancer Research. From the beginning of the CSA 4.UNCAN.eu, cancer patients and their relatives have a central role and a strong voice within the project activities. Integrating patients’ and citizens’ expectations and needs in the definition of the portfolio of research and innovation actions allows for maintaining a permanent dialogue and fine-tuning research aims. WP4 is working on a strategy to keep patients and citizens involved through the whole journey of UNCAN.eu, and moreover will ensure that patients and citizens will have a position in UNCAN.eu governance and participate in the decision-making process. This strategy, based on a circular communication between health professionals, scientists, etc. on one side, and citizens and patients on the other side, will be incorporated in the blueprint.
WP5 – Governance, organization, logistics, finances, and sustainability
WP5 activity is focused on defining the framework rules for the operation of the UNCAN.eu platform, defined as “a fully-fledged sustainable platform managed by Member States, associated countries and stakeholders”. The proposed governance for UNCAN.eu will involve scientists, patients, and citizens and allow the harmonious interaction of all the stakeholders and the efficient coordination of their activities. The governance of UNCAN.eu will be connected to national health authorities and to existing initiatives in supporting cancer research within and across Member States. Finally, WP5 will generate a consensus proposal to be part of the final blueprint to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform and enable the implementation of UNCAN.eu over the lifetime of the Mission on Cancer.
WP6 – Inequalities in cancer research – improved science with improved outreach
WP6 is working on finding solutions to lowering inequalities in cancer research across Europe, whilst promoting scientific excellence. Their general objective is to identify mechanisms that may boost cancer research and innovation potential in lower-income regions across Europe while promoting technology transfer and interaction with private companies. More specifically, they have been focusing on benchmarking existing research infrastructures and networks across Europe and developing mechanisms to increase the research and innovation potential of less developed regions, assessing twinning opportunities between most and less developed regions and making recommendations on setting up a framework for twinning programs, identifying opportunities for technology transfer and industry collaborations with a special focus on regional gaps to boost innovation and research potential across Europe, and, finally, identifying regional inequities that require research program at the EU level.