The European PRO4VIP project held an Open Market Consultation (OMC) in Barcelona in late September. This is a meeting format that is devoted to informing technology companies about the principal unsatisfied demands for solutions in the field of ophthalmology and low vision. PRO4VIP is an innovative public procurement (IPP) project that forms part of the European Vision 2020 strategy for eliminating avoidable blindness. The consortium invites companies to participate so they may establish contacts and partnerships in order to expand the potential solutions presented to the needs highlighted by the programme.
The meeting took place at the offices of the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS) and boasted the participation of BMF researcher Dr Marc Biarnés and Anna Borrell, the Foundation’s Deputy Director, among others. Dr Biarnés explained in his presentation that PRO4VIP, which is sponsored by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, must help to identify the technological solutions that it proposes and challenge the market to develop them. It must also identify the drivers of the desired technologies and help them to achieve these aims.
Dr Biarnés presented the results of a focus group on the identification of unmet needs and possible solutions in clinical procedures and treatments for blindness and the transfer of these needs to the sphere of functional requirements.
As areas of improvement, it identified and prioritised knowledge management and the monitoring and development of innovative therapies
Ophthalmologists of different specialties, optometrists, nurses, a psychologist and a low-vision specialist, among others, participated in the dynamics. As key points, the conclusions highlighted prevention, early detection of eye disease and new therapies for degenerative vision diseases. As areas of improvement, it identified and prioritised knowledge management and the monitoring and development of innovative therapies.
Presentation and poster at the forum ‘B·Debate’
The European PRO4VIP project was featured in another event in Barcelona in September. This took place at the Fighting Blindness. Future Challenges and Opportunities for Visual Restoration forum, which was promoted by the BMF. Specifically, the Coordinator of AQuAS, Ramon Maspons, set out the details of the project to a hundred attendees.
The posters at the event also included a panel explaining the programme.
The PRO4VIP project is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 645584.