SPINEFX: A University–Industry Network for the Training of High-quality Multidisciplinary Researchers to Deliver Enterprising, Cost-effective Surgical Solutions for Spinal Disease and Trauma
SPINEFX is an integrated ITN comprising academic, industrial and clinical partners that is designed to create exceptionally trained researchers with the key skills to deliver commercially significant, innovative solutions to the challenges posed by spinal disease and trauma, namely vertebral fracture. The significant economic and personal impact of these fractures can be gleaned from the fact that in osteoporosis 1 in 3 women will suffer one. Added to this is the high cost of vertebral fractures due to trauma, which can exceed €1 million per patient. It is only with a multidisciplinary approach, which is a synthesis of key academic and industrial skills, that high quality training can be delivered to researchers to address this economic and individual burden. Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be located within internationally renowned academic institutions with state-of-the-art facilities and will be involved in projects organized around key themes which cascade over basic, oriented and applied research in a truly ‘bench to bedside and beyond’ manner. New knowledge generated by the ESRs will be exploited by the Experienced Researchers (ERs) who will be located in three of Europes leading Small-Medium Sized Enterprises in this arena. Here the ERs will strengthen their scientific competencies in a market-driven environment and advance their managerial and knowledge transfer skills. As well as playing a significant role in training-through-research, Industry will also be a central element of the Structured Training. The latter includes Network-Wide Workshops open to the international community, secondments and the co-hosting of the Final Conference in conjunction with the EuroSpine Meeting organized by the Spine Society for Europe. All training will emphasise both complementary and scientific skills, thus significantly enhancing the career prospects of the ESRs/ERs and creating future research leaders.