KCE Trials works closely together with public bodies funding trials in other countries and takes part in international initiatives on comparative effectiveness, pragmatic clinical research and publicly-funded trials.
This collaboration on joint initiatives promotes high quality clinical research by sharing best practices, cooperative methodological development and facilitates the conduct of international trials, for example in the area of rare diseases.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the UK was created in 2006, bringing together several programmes of publicly-funded research. One of these, the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme, is running already for more than 20 years and served as example when creating the KCE Trials programme. As is the case for KCE Trials, the NIHR HTA programme also considers the value for money aspect when selecting proposals for funding.
KCE Trials has regular contact with NIHR for advice on funding processes. In addition, participation of Belgian centres to NIHR funded international trials might be possible from time to time through early sharing of research questions/commissioning briefs.
The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) selects and funds publicly-funded trials in the Netherlands. A wide range of domains within health care are covered by several programmes such as medicines, prevention, quality in health care, disability and chronic disease etc. Within the “health care efficiency research” programme and the “medicines” programme, trials with a similar scope and goals as the KCE Trials programme are funded.
KCE Trials provides funding for the participation of Belgian centres in some ZonMw funded trials and plans to open a first joint call with ZonMw and the Luxembourg Institute of Health towards the end of 2017.
The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) is an international non-profit organisation that forms a network of European scientists involved in clinical research. Its objective is to facilitate transnational multicentre research by providing researchers with support and tools in managing the difficulties associated with the multinational nature of research.
Belgium is not (yet) a member of ECRIN but the KCE Trials programme has regular contacts with ECRIN and its members in the context of international collaboration.
The Clinical Research Initiative for Global Health (CRIGH) is a worldwide international initiative supporting clinical research. It aims to optimize the research programs of the different participating countries, to develop international standards for clinical research and to encourage the use of innovative methods and technologies. The secretariat is provided by ECRIN in conjunction with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The World Health Organisation (WHO) and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are observing members.
KCE Trials is member of CRIGH and is a co-lead for the comparative effectiveness work package.