The objective of the meeting was to gather the research environment within UNIKARD’s focus area, epidemiological research/register research, and to discuss potential cooperative working projects.

Time and place: March 15th, 2011, 2:00-5:00 PM, Radisson Blu Hotel, Trondheim Airport.

UNIKARD is a national research initiative in the area of cardio-vascular research under the direction of the National Cooperative Council for Medical and Health Professional Research (Norwegian abbreviation NSG). UNIKARD’s main emphasis is on epidemiological research/register research, heart failure and cardio-vascular surgery. The initiative to UNIKARD came in 2004 after an evaluation of clinical research under the direction of the Research Council of Norway (NFR) revealed certain weaknesses, amongst them was: 1) a need for increased focus on national and international cooperation 2) a need for stronger management of research 3) a need for clearer research objectives and strategies 4) research that is built around individual persons should be limited in favour of larger research groups and 5) equipment and techniques should be available as a common resource for more researchers. With regard to its organization, the project is subordinate to NSG through the Cooperating Entity Helse Midt-Norge and NTNU co/Stig Slørdahl. NTNU co/Department of circulation and medical imaging bears administrative responsibility. Professor Ole Sejersted is the director of UNIKARD’s governing body.

UNIKARD’s objectives are primarily to promote cardio-vascular research on a high international level, to promote projects across regions and established research groups, to work towards tying Norwegian cardio-vascular research to international research, to make Norwegian cardio-vascular research attractive to national and international participants, to work purposefully towards making use of new treatment strategies for patients with cardio-vascular illness in the Norwegian health system, to have a long term strategy for the education of researchers, to work towards developing and making use of good functional registers and bio-banks and to establish a national cardio-vascular register.

NFR supports multi-regional cooperative projects that include at least three health regions, and applicants must be connected to NSG’s member institutions (for example UNIKARD). Each health region contributes NOK 1 million over 3 years to each cooperative project. NFR contributes a supplement consisting of 20% of a project’s total budget.

The meeting was held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Trondheim Airport, at 2:00-5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 15th.