CAMbrellaWith thanks to Medical News Today 12.11.09:

A three year project called CAMbrella will receive nearly 1.5 million euros of European Union funding to establish a research network for the study of complementary medicine.

The center for complementary medicine research at “Rechts der Isar,” the university hospital of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen will coordinate the project for the winning applicant group, which includes 16 scientific organizations from 12 European countries.

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The project will begin in January 2010. CAMbrella stands for an umbrella of research projects in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

“In complementary and alternative medicine there is a lack of sponsorship for research. In Germany, no governmental funding has been provided since 1996. CAMbrella will play an important role to overcome this deficit,” agree project leader Dr. Wolfgang Weidenhammer and Dr. Dieter Melchart, leader of the center.

The focus of CAMbrella is on building a network of European research institutes in complementary medicine and on fostering international cooperation.

Several working groups will focus on patients’ needs, legal conditions for the implementation of naturopathic treatments, and the role of complementary and alternative medicine treatments in healthcare systems, as well as on questions of terminology and methodology.

The objective is to develop a comprehensive view of the current status of complementary medicine in Europe that will serve as a starting point for future research activities.

Eventually, the CAMbrella project will provide a list of recommendations.

The group consists of 16 scientific partners from 12 countries.

An advisory board will facilitate collaboration among the various stakeholders in complementary and alternative medicine, including consumers, practitioners, clinical providers and manufacturers, and regulatory authorities.

The European Union announced sponsorship for work in the field of complementary medicine in 2008, in the context of its 7th framework program for research funding.

Selection of research partners to receive the funding crowns the efforts of numerous European initiatives and organizations for complementary medicine supported by the Munich Center for Naturopathic Research.

CAMbrella The goal of this collaboration is to develop a roadmap for future European research in CAM that is appropriate for the health care needs of EU citizens, and acceptable to the EU parliament as well as their national research funders and healthcare providers.

We will enable meaningful reliable comparative research and communication within Europe and create a sustainable structure and policy.

CAMbrella is focussed on academic research groups which do not advocate specific treatments. The Advisory Board represents the main CAM stakeholders including consumers, practitioners, clinical providers, and manufacturers of CAM medicinal products.

The specific objectives are to develop an EU network involving centres of research excellence for collaborative research, to develop consensus-based terminology widely accepted in Europe to describe CAM interventions, to create a knowledge base that facilities our understanding of patient demand for CAM and its prevalence, to review the current legal status and policies governing CAM provision in the EU and, to explore the needs, beliefs and attitudes of the EU citizens with respect to CAM.

Based on this information we will create a roadmap that will enable a sustainable and prioritised EU research roadmap for CAM.

We will achieve this in 3 years by creating dialogue between researchers from 12 EU member and associated states.

We will set up a mechanism that will allow fruitful and thoughtful discussion throughout the EU.

To facilitate this coordinating action the project will be delivered in 9 independent but interrelated work packages whose members meet regularly.

It will be coordinated by a Management Board and directed by a Scientific Steering Committee with support of an Advisory Board.

The outcomes generated will be disseminated through our website, peer review publications and a final conference, with emphasis on current and future EU policies, addressing the different target audiences with an interest in CAM.

Read about more scientific research into homeopathy