Stakeholders views

24 September 2019
“With the Grand Challenges Program, we can face challenges that we couldn’t otherwise. The focus of VIB’s strategy for the future is translational. It’s about translating knowledge into value for society; and as such, making sure that innovation leads to growth and more jobs. I fully support this inspirational strategy and I’m convinced that this will take the very dynamic Flemish biotech industry to another level.”   Ajit Shetty, Chairman of VIB’s Board of Directors

“I think it’s very relevant that scientists, physicians, and patients can share their experiences because each of those groups has its own perspective on the issues. You notice that certain aspects are very important for patients, but that these same aspects often fly below the radar of the scientists and physicians. Vice versa, when patients come into contact with the research world, they understand that not everything can be solved in the blink of an eye.” Krista Bracke, PID patient & honorary doctor Ghent University”

“The Grand Challenges Program allows us to initiate projects that are larger than usual in the academic world.
The extensive international collaboration allows us to work on projects of an almost industrial approach and
scale – even though industry has significantly more means. I expect that the Grand Challenges projects
will lead to substantial leaps forward.” Bart De Strooper, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

“These are very thorough projects, with clear endpoints aimed at improving the therapy options for patients, which is a unique opportunity for clinicians who all aim to help us much people as possible.” Sabine Tejpar, UZ Leuven

“This kind of projects is essential to unite several research centers in the fight against important and/or rare conditions. Gathering forces and expertise in such a manner creates a lot of value for Flemish research and
– by extension – for the patients suffering from these conditions.” Isabelle Meyts, UZ Leuven

“The microbiome treatment had a phenomenal effect on my inflammation. Unfortunately, it was relatively short-lived, but this shows – again – how important it is to do more research on these types of treatment approaches. That’s why I applaud every inititative that seeks to improve the treatment of IBD.” Maarten Sintnicolaas, IBD patient

“As researchers, we spend our time ‘discovering’ and publishing our results. But often it takes several years to bring our findings to the patients, with a lot of financial investment, upscaling and large-scale clinical trials. As researchers, we can’t do that because we lack the financial strength to do so. This project helps us bridge that gap.” Nico Callewaert, VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

“The feedback between the technological expertise of VIB and the clinical centers that have ample experience with patients and clinical disease progression is a hallmark of this program that provides a tremendous amount of added value.” Sven Francque, UZ Antwerpen

“The ultimate goals of the Grand Challenges Program is to drastically improve both the daily lives and treatment of patients. This combination is quite unique and, indeed, a grand challenge.” Dirk Elewaut, VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

“The added value of the Grand Challenges Program truly lies in the collaboration between us clinicians and VIB researchers. Our clinical questions provide a starting point for VIB research. When they share their findings with us, we can quickly translate those to benefits for our patients.” Sévérine Vermeire, UZ Leuven

Go back to the overview: 'the Grand Challenges Program'​