The European Population Imaging Infrastructure is an initiative of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) and the Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Department of Radiology, chaired by Professor Gabriel P. Krestin. The NFU has made available initial funding for the development of this initiative.

The European Population Imaging Infrastructure closely cooperates with the European Biomedical Imaging Infrastructure Project EURO-BioImaging which is currently being developed.

The ultimate aim of the infrastructure is to help the development and implementation of strategies to prevent or effectively treat disease. It supports imaging in large, prospective epidemiological studies on the population level. Image specific markers of pre-symptomatic diseases can be used to investigate causes of pathological alterations and for the early identification of people at risk.

More information on this infrastructure and on the role of the European Population Imaging Infrastructure in this can be found in the Netherlands Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities, the applicaton for funding of the Roadmap Large Scale Research Facilities Application form of the Roadmap EuroBioImaging, and on the Euro-BioImaging website.

In order to further develop the European Population Imaging Infrastructure initiative and to explore the interest and needs of the Dutch scientific community, a 1st Workshop was organized on March 26, 2009.  For a full report of this meeting, please click here.

As a result of this workshop, a working group was formed in April 2009 to further develop the initiative. A survey was held regarding the larger Dutch Population Cohorts to measure their potential for population imaging. The results of this survey were presented at a workshop on March 25, 2010. Furthermore, we have been constructing a position paper entitled  ‘European Population Imaging Infrastructure. A Proposal for the Netherlands’ .

The importance for setting up the European Population Imaging Infrastructure (EPI2) in the Netherlands was underlined during the workshop on March 25, 2010. Key representatives from Dutch medical sciences, industry, government, and research councils discussed the initiative of EPI2 in the Netherlands, also in the context of Euro-BioImaging. There was general agreement on the importance of population imaging, building on the strong position of the Netherlands both in population studies and biomedical imaging. EPI2 will be embedded in a strong knowledge infrastructure encompassing also public/private partnerships like CTMM, TI Pharma and Ti-GO. The latter was considered as one of the key factors for success.

All participants agreed on the basic principles laid down in the position paper. In the coming months this position paper will be finalized and a consultation process will be initiated to discuss funding opportunities and further steps.

Gabriel P Krestin