The VPHI Institute is Fully Operational

The Virtual Physiological Human Institute for Integrative Biomedical Research, in short VPH Institute, was recently established as an international non-profit organisation incorporated in Belgium and it is now ready to operate and to start the membership campaign. The mission of the VPH Institute is to ensure that the Virtual Physiological Human is fully realised, universally adopted, and effectively used both in research and clinic. In spite of the human need to reduce to parts in order to understand, life is the result of an intricate systemic interaction between very many processes occurring at radically different spatial and temporal scales. Every day worldwide biomedical research and clinical practice produce a huge amount of information on such processes. But this information is highly fragmented, and its integration is largely left to the human actors, who find this more and more difficult as the breath and depth of information available increases exponentially. The VPH Institute aims to develop a new approach, which makes possible the integration of information, and simplifies its transformation into integrated knowledge.

The establishment of the VPH Institute is the result of a long and articulated public process, which involved the entire community. Back it 2007 the STEP consortium published a consensus document which suggested the possibility to establish a European Institute entirely dedicated to the Virtual Physiological Human. This was seen as a mean to ensure longevity to the community of practice which was established with the STEP Action and is currently running with the VPH Network of Excellence (VPH NoE). This idea was re-proposed and expanded in the STEP roadmap 2009 update, where a concrete implementation plan was identified, with the following time line: establishment of the pro-tempore board by the end of 2010, drafting of the statute by the end of 2011, formal establishment and running of the VPH Institute in 2012.

All these deadlines have been successfully met and from the 1st of June the VPH Institute is not only legally established but also fully operational: ten prestigious Institutions worldwide already sit in the Board of Directors, the statute was drafted and approved through a community consensus process, and a business plan for the first year of activities has been defined and is already turning into operative actions.

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