Annual Scientific Report 2023

EIBIR is once again proud to look back on a productive year. This annual report summarises the activities of the EIBIR community, including on-going research projects, an update on our joint initiatives, as well as an outlook into the future.

Enjoy the read and let yourself be inspired to become involved in EIBIR’s activities in the field of biomedical imaging research!

Editorial

Dear EIBIR partners, colleagues and friends,

It is with great excitement that I have embraced my role of Scientific Director at EIBIR in July 2023. The wealth of knowledge and innovation within this community has already left a lasting impression on me, and I am eager to contribute my experience to further enhance our collective success.

I am pleased to present the Annual Scientific Report of the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) for the year 2023. 2023 has been a remarkable year for EIBIR, marked by the start of six new EU-funded projects. These span a diverse range, from pioneering projects focused on advancing optical imaging systems to guide neurosurgical procedures, to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for predicting obesity-related diseases with implications for cardiovascular health. In total, EIBIR has successfully secured over 70 million Euro in funding in our pursuit of advancing biomedical imaging research under Horizon Europe and other European funding programmes. Our success in various funding calls underscores the depth of expertise within our organisation and at the EIBIR office and the strategic alignment of our proposals with the objectives of Horizon Europe and EU policy priorities such as the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications (SAMIRA).

Particularly noteworthy accomplishments from 2023 include EIBIR’s leading role in the European Federation for Cancer Images (EUCAIM), a flagship initiative of the European Cancer Imaging Initiative. Additionally, EIBIR is proud to lead the SOLACE project, a new EU4Health project fostering lung cancer screening programs across Europe.

In line with our commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation, I am pleased to announce that there will be a comprehensive revision of the EIBIR Strategic Research Agenda. This revision aims to update the agenda with new research areas, priorities, emerging technologies, and recent trends. On this note, I would like to invite you to reach out. The door is open for collaboration and communication, share your insights and participate in an open dialogue. We look forward to a collective effort in the advancement of biomedical imaging.

In collaboration with the European Society of Radiology (ESR), EIBIR opened the 3rd call for proposals for the ESR Research Seed Grants 2024. Up to 10 seed grants will be awarded in the field of contrast-enhanced imaging and imaging surveillance in cancer treatment.

Looking ahead, I am confident that the coming years will bring more exciting results and advancements. We remain committed to supporting our exceptional research community and acquiring funding for cross-cutting research projects to advance the field of biomedical imaging. On behalf of the entire EIBIR team, I can say that we all look forward to seeing our partnership continue in 2024 and beyond.

This Annual Report provides an overview of our activities and achievements in 2023. I hope you enjoy reading the report and that it gives you a good impression of the work we do. If you also want to be a part of this success, I encourage you to contact us so we can assist you with submitting your research proposal and with becoming part of our network of scientific excellence.

Sincerely,

Regina Beets-Tan

EIBIR Scientific Director

Our services

We offer expert support for proposal preparation, professional project management and communication and dissemination services for Horizon 2020 and other European funding schemes.

EIBIR strives to improve cooperation within the European biomedical imaging community, with the goal of improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. EIBIR actively supports research networking activities, common initiatives and interoperability in the field of biomedical imaging research. Over the last years, EIBIR has helped shape the landscape of European biomedical imaging research by supporting scientists and helping them secure funding for their projects.

High-level project management is required to ensure the successful accomplishment of every project’s goals. We offer expert advice, project management and coordination, communication and dissemination services for collaborative research projects and clinical studies. Our mission is to ensure optimal conditions for researchers to develop their dream projects by relieving them from all related administrative and management work.

EIBIR is an expert in developing competitive project proposals. The EIBIR team have a clear understanding of what the European Commission expects in each section of a research proposal. Therefore, EIBIR is a strong partner in all aspects related to writing a proposal for research funding, including assistance in drafting and finalising the budget.

One of the main advantages of working together with EIBIR is the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of our Scientific Advisory Board. It consists of 38 international experts from various specialties who can provide critical scientific feedback on your project ideas.

We also offer assistance in consortium formation and identifying suitable academic, industry or SME partners for your project.

Since 2006, EIBIR has helped to secure over €109,000,000 in research funding for biomedical imaging. This is testament to our effectiveness in promoting and supporting biomedical research.

Successful project management support

Once your research proposal has been granted, we offer professional project management and coordination, communication and exploitation services for your research projects and clinical studies.

EIBIR is a reliable partner in following the rules and regulations of Horizon 2020 and other funding schemes while making them more easily accessible and less burdensome and gives you space and time to focus on project’s success.

Save precious time

We are aware you already have many demands on your time. By assuming management and administrative responsibilities, we relieve you of these time-consuming tasks, allowing you to focus on your research instead.

Service Description
Proposal preparation support Submission of project idea and pre-proposal check, consortium formation and communication, proposal writing and budget planning, document polishing & editing, submission to European Commission
Project management Grant and consortium agreement preparations, regular European Commission project reporting, financial management of your project, communication and dissemination
EIBIR Electronic Data Capture Platform The EIBIR Electronic Data Capture (EDC) Platform can be used to collect and manage almost any type of digital data that is part of your biomedical research — from numerical values or text, to DICOM images.
EIBIR Joint Initiatives Participate in EIBIR’s interdisciplinary groups that work towards a biomedical imaging research goal or start a new joint initiative related to your field.
EIBIR Scientific Advisory Board Have your institution represented on our Scientific Advisory Board and help shape the future of biomedical imaging research (candidates are subject to approval procedure by the current EIBIR shareholders before appointment).
EIBIR Dissemination Support Send us updates and news from your research and we’ll share it via our online and social media channels.
EIBIR Members Bulletin Regular updates on expected funding calls to give you a head start on your proposal preparation. This service gives our members an early indicator of the funding opportunities available to them, which also gives them a crucial advantage in proposal preparation.

Flexible pricing

Our range of support services to research institutions can be accessed via three service package categories at affordable, flexible pricing. As a non-profit organisation, EIBIR aims to boost the success of biomedical imaging research in the European funding landscape by providing crucial support services.

To fully benefit from our services, you can become part of the EIBIR Network for a reasonable annual fee.

For proposal preparation only, we now offer alternative pricing options including a success fee of 1.5% of the total requested project budget. For more information on the available pricing options, please contact our office.

Service package fee per calendar year institution €1000 €200 €100
EIBIR Proposal Preparation support, consortium building and project management (full proposals, stages 1 and 2)
EIBIR Proposal Preparation support, consortium building and project management (first stage only)
EIBIR Network Consortium Building
EIBIR Electronic Data Capture Platform
EIBIR Joint Initiatives
EIBIR Scientific Advisory Board1
EIBIR Dissemination Support2
EIBIR Members Bulletin
EIBIR Network Database

1Please note that this conditional on the approval of EIBIR’s shareholders
2Please note that EIBIR cannot guarantee that every update or news item sent to it can be published via its dissemination & communication channels.

About us

Combining the expertise of our scientific advisory board, advice from our multi-disciplinary shareholder groups, input from the European Society of Radiology Research Committee and recommendations from the industry panel, EIBIR benefits from the guidance and support of a multi-faceted organisational structure that ensures EIBIR and biomedical imaging are at the forefront of research activities in Europe.

You can read more about EIBIR and its structure here.

Scientific Advisory Board

Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) sets and guides EIBIR’s long-term strategy and goals for biomedical imaging research. It also provides invaluable expert advice and feedback to EU consultations and research proposals. In 2023, the SAB met twice to discuss EIBIR’s strategy for future research calls and to brainstorm on new ideas that can better serve researchers and further promote the role of biomedical imaging in European research.

Scientific Director

Professor Regina Beets-Tan is chair of the department of radiology at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, full professor of radiology at the University of Maastricht and adjunct professor of abdominal and oncological radiology at the University of Southern Denmark. She is also a past-president of the European Society of Radiology and former member of the European Commission’s mission board on cancer.

Shareholder representatives

Kostas Koutsogiannis– EFOMP
Karen Rosendahl – ESPR
Marion Smits – ESR
Vincenzo Valentini– ESTRO
Casper Garos – COCIR
Michael Lassmann – EANM
Karen Knapp – EFRS
Philippe Pereira – CIRSE
Daniel Pinto dos Santos– EuSoMII
Andrew Webb – ESMRMB
Christophe Deroose – EORTC
Michael Neumaier – EFLM

JI directors

Aad van der Lugt & Nandita de Souza – EIBALL
Christoph Hoeschen – EURAMED
Michal Neeman & Silvio Aime – Preclinical imaging
Wiro Niessen – AI for medical imaging
Karen Rosendahl – Paediatric radiology
Francesco Sardanelli – EuroAIM

Regular members

Fabian Bamberg
Magnus Båth
Regina Beets-Tan
Linda Chaabane
Clemens Cyran
Ferdia Gallagher
Horst Hahn
Georg Langs
Luis Marti-Bonmati
Konstantin Nikolaou
Anders Persson
Antonio Pifferi
Steven Sourbron
Irene Virgolini

Shareholders

EIBIR’s shareholder organisations exemplify the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in biomedical imaging research. Their support is vital to EIBIR’s decision making.

European Society of Radiology
www.myesr.org
Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe
www.cirse.org
European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electro- medical and Healthcare IT Industry
www.cocir.org
European Association of Nuclear Medicine
www.eanm.org
European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
www.eflm.eu
European Federation of Organisations in Medical Physics
www.efomp.org
European Federation of Radiographers Society
www.efrs.eu
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
www.eortc.org
European Society of Paediatric Radiology
www.espr.org
European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology
www.esmrmb.org
European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics
www.eusomii.pro
European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology
www.estro.org

Industry panel

The Industry Panel allows EIBIR and its member industry organisations to identify shared interests and opportunities for collaboration.

The cost for membership packages ranges from €10,000 for Gold, €5,000 for Silver and €1,000 for SMEs. Industry Partners benefit from EIBIR services according to their varying financial commitment.

The long-standing commitment of EIBIR’s industry partners have allowed projects such as the MIPA study, and EIBIR looks forward to enhanced cooperation in the coming years.

Gold industry member

SME industry members

EIBIR Team

We are a professional team with significant experience in the field of biomedical imaging research funding, extensive knowledge of the European Commission requirements and European research landscape.

Mag. Monika Hierath

Executive Manager
+43 1 533 4064 20
mhierath@eibir.org

Peter Gordebeke, MSc

Project Manager
+43 1 533 4064 323
pgordebeke@eibir.org

MMag. Katharina Krischak, BA

Project Manager
+43 1 533 4064 13
kkrischak@eibir.org

Ulrike Mayerhofer-Schirmer, MA

Project manager
+43 1 533 4064 321
umayerhofer-schirmer@eibir.org

Nathan Peld
Project assistant
+43 1 533 4064 321
npeld@eibir.org

 

Eszter Balasz
Project Manager
ebalasz@eibir.org
Coline Mathonier

Junior Project manager
cmathonier@eibir.org

Valentina Belmar Erilkin

Junior Project manager
vbelmar@eibir.org

Ancor Armas Martin
Project manager
aarmas-martin@eibir.org
Agnieszka Skwara
Project manager
askwara@eibir.org

Our network

We acknowledge and express gratitude to all organisations and individuals who have acknowledged the significance of being involved and have contributed to the growth of the EIBIR network. Our network gladly welcomes institutions from diverse disciplines interested in biomedical imaging, encouraging bottom-up initiatives and active engagement.

Comprising 58 institutions from 21 countries, our network includes universities, research organisations, hospitals, large industries, and small and medium-sized enterprises involved in various areas related to imaging.

Network statistics as of 31/12/2023
Active service package 28
Regular service package 27
Associate service package 3
Total 58

Joint Initiatives

EIBIR supports Joint Initiatives (JI) in setting up a new research- oriented community of scientists. The
EIBIR JIs represent interdisciplinary groups working towards a common bioimaging-focused research goal strengthen the JI’s specific research area.

In 2020, EIBIR supported six JIs with specific activities, including the coordination of collaborative research efforts, communication and dissemination of research results or announcements, and the organisation of workshops, meetings and training.

  • AI for medical imaging
  • Preclinical imaging
  • European Network for the Assessment of Imaging in Medicine (EuroAIM)
  • European Alliance for Medical Radiation Protection Research (EURAMED)
  • European Imaging Biomarker Alliance (EIBALL)
  • Paediatric Radiology

2020 saw the launch of the JI “AI for medical imaging” that aims to create an environment and infrastructure that allows to strengthen AI research in medical imaging and its translation to clinical research and clinical practice. More than 30 stakeholders from the EIBIR network followed our invitation and attended the online kick off meeting on March 13, 2020. The lively discussion embraced imaging repositories for AI development, challenges for AI validation, education and training, summer schools and applications for research funding. Activities will continue in the coming years.

START YOUR OWN JOINT INITIATIVE

To start a JI within EIBIR, a written concept describing the group’s aims, goals and mission is to be presented to our Scientific Director. It should include the name of the future Director of the JI, potential members and ideas for activities for the coming year.

The application will be reviewed by the Scientific Director and the EIBIR Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). After positive feedback from the Scientific Director and the SAB, the JI and its Director have to be formally appointed by the EIBIR shareholders during the annual EIBIR General Meeting, normally held on the occasion of the annual European Congress of Radiology.

The JI Director becomes an ex officio member of the EIBIR SAB. During meetings of the SAB, the JI Director reports on the JIs activities and presents the strategic goals for the upcoming year(s).

Following formal establishment, the JI Director invites potential members of the JI. We can help you in advertising the new JI by sending out information in our newsletters and distributing it to our shareholders. The overall goals and aims are consolidated in a kick-off meeting of the JI, in which the strategic course of action and responsibilities of the JI Director and JI members are defined.

EIBIR will offer administrative support to the JI Director, however, there is no additional financial support available for the directors or members unless provided within specific projects. All JIs will benefit through the EIBIR networking opportunities and collaboration in research projects.

EURAMED

EURAMED led the successful submission of a proposal addressing the Horizon2020 NFRP-13 call “Research roadmap for medical applications of ionising radiation” in September 2019 and was just recently invited to the Grant Agreement negotiations. The project consortium comprises a group of 29 partners including major universities and research centres in the field. The 3-year ‘EURAMED rocc-n-roll’ project will seek to establish an integrated and coordinated European approach to research and innovation for medical applications of ionising radiation and related RP, based on stakeholder consensus and existing activities in the field.

EURAMED also contributed to EJP-CONCERT (European Joint Programme for the Integration of RP Research) activities, in particular to the deliverable 3.7 (Second joint roadmap for radiation protection research).

MEENAS, an umbrella structure for European radiation protection (RP) research was established with the signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2020. MEENAS members are MELODI, EURADOS, EURAMED, NERIS, ALLIANCE, and SHARE. Among others, MEENAS aims at promoting European RP research, developing and implementing a joint roadmap, identifying gaps of joint interest with respect to RTD needs for improving RP and to avoid duplication of efforts, supporting the development of a long-term joint research agenda for European RP research and promote scientific excellence, initiating and supporting the exchange with the wider research community and stakeholders, and optimising and coordinating the communication and dissemination of scientific knowledge resulting from RP research. In the second half of 2020, MEENAS prepared a vision document for a European Partnership for Radiation Protection Research under Horizon Europe.

EuroAIM

The EuroAIM initiative to assess the quality of medical imaging guidelines by using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument continued throughout 2020. This endeavor is possible thanks to the close cooperation of the Subspecialty Societies of the European Society of Radiology. Critical appraisals of papers reporting recommendation on sarcopenia, of the quality of (18)F-FDG PET/CT guidelines in oncology, of the quality of guidelines for radiation protection in interventional radiology and of the quality of vertigo practice guidelines were carried out and related publications prepared. Find an overview of all publications related to this initiative on the EIBIR website.

Highlights of 2023

2023 stands as a remarkable period for EIBIR. This period witnessed the start of six new projects, each marked by their significance in diverse areas, such as the advancement of cancer imaging platforms for the integration of artificial intelligence in cancer management and medical radiation protection.

European Congress of Radiology 2023

EIBIR and its growing team was active throughout ECR 2023, holding five sessions in addition to its General Meeting and other events. A session describing efforts to build a European infrastructure for AI in health imaging, chaired by Luis Martí-Bonmatí and Gabriel P. Krestin and involving the EIBIR projects EuCanImage, CHAIMELEON and EUCAIM, kicked off EIBIR’s activities. Its new research opportunities and support services were presented in two sessions, first “European efforts to improve quality and safety in imaging and therapy,” which also detailed the i-Violin, SIMPLERAD and AlternativesToGd projects, and then in “Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment” about the HyperProbe, RadioVal and ODELIA projects. Incoming Scientific Director Regina Beets-Tan was invited for a studio session to follow up on these sessions by conversing about European funding opportunities for imaging research.

The SINFONIA project presented its AI and machine learning innovations in “AI applications in radiation protection: the experience of the SINFONIA project” chaired by its Scientific Coordinator, John Damilakis. Finally, the EURAMED rocc’n’roll project, as it neared completion, took the stage to describe its strategic research agenda and roadmap to meet needs in European ionising radiation research in the session “European Research Agenda for medical applications of ionising radiation: the EURAMED rocc-n-roll project,” which was chaired by its Clinical Coordinator, Guy Frija.

Additionally, in the studio EIBIR collaborated with ESR to describe the research seed grant programme and activities in radiation protection research involving EuroSafe Imaging and the society EURAMED, and meetings of its industry partners and Scientific Advisory Board were convened. All sessions were promoted on EIBIR’s and its associated websites, and updates were made available throughout the conference on its Twitter channels.

EIBIR at ECR 2024

During ECR 2024, February 28 – March 3, the EIBIR team is preparing the following sessions.

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) for health imaging: pioneering cancer image repositories for diagnosis and analysis
    February 29, 08:00-19:00 CET
  2. Implementing lung cancer screening programmes in Europe (SOLACE Project)
    February 29, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
  3. Innovative tools for comprehensive risk assessment in radiology: insights from the SINFONIA Project
    March 1, 09:30 – 11:00 CET
  4. EUCAIM at the forefront: innovating radiology with Europe’s cancer image infrastructure for artificial intelligence (AI)
    March 2, 16:00 – 17:30 CET
  5. Artificial intelligence (AI), real impact: redefining clinical decision making based on medical images
    March 3, 11:30 – 12:30 CET

We look forward to seeing you at our sessions during ECR 2024!

Six new projects!

AI-POD

The mission of AI-POD is to significantly improve the risk assessment and management of obesity-related vascular disease. This is achieved through developing a unique AI-based risk prediction score and Clinical Decision Support System, both guided by a wealth of individual patient data. This project is running from May 2023 until May 2027. To find out more about AI-POD, visit their website.

EUCAIM

EUCAIM is the corner stone of the European Cancer Imaging Initiative and a flagship project of the EC. The project is establishing the Cancer Image Europe, a federated infrastructure that brings together cancer image data under one secure, compliant framework. EUCAIM’s goal is to facilitate and foster the development and benchmarking of AI-based cancer management tools towards personalized medicine. To find out more about EUCAIM, visit their website.

MARLIN

MARLIN focuses on reporting and learning from patient-related incidents and near misses in radiotherapy, interventional cardiology, nuclear medicine and interventional and diagnostic radiology- a European Commission Tender led by EIBIR with ESTRO and EFOMP as consortium members. o learn more about MARLIN, visit this website.

Med-IPUT

Med-IPUT project will develop a high-resolution, high-quality, recyclable medical imaging system based on a disruptive integrated photonic ultrasound transducer concept. Visit Med-IPUT’s website to learn more about the project.

ODELIA

The project will build the first pan-European swarm learning (SL) network used to train AI algorithms whilst addressing privacy concerns of the data used. With the help of such network, AI algorithms will be developed and validated for detection of breast cancer in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening examinations as a demonstration case. Visit ODELIA’s website to learn more about the project.

SOLACE

The Strengthening the screening of Lung Cancer in Europe (SOLACE) is a pioneering new EU4Health project under the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, which will facilitate implementation of lung cancer screening programmes across Europe, breaking down the barriers to screening to ensure people across all social and economic groups can access it. Visit the website and look for the #SOLACELUNG on X for the latest updates on the SOLACE project.

ESR Research Seed Grants

EIBIR’s and the ESR’s commitment to fostering cutting-edge research in radiology is evident through the ongoing success and expansion of the ESR Research Seed Grant programme, providing a platform for researchers to explore new avenues, contribute valuable insights, and kick-start larger studies with the potential to shape the future of the field.

The primary objective of the ESR Research Seed Grant programme is to nurture and support inventive projects and pilot studies, which will ultimately evolve into larger, more comprehensive research initiatives.

2023 saw the completion of 8 ESR Research Seed Grant projects on Artificial Intelligence and Interventional Oncologic Radiology funded under the programme in 2022 supported by an unrestricted, non-exclusive grant from GE Healthcare . The awardees presented their research findings at a dedicated session during ECR 2023 in Vienna, showcasing the diverse and high-quality research undertaken in areas such as brain biomarkers, AI applications in prostate MRI, and cryoimmunologic response in breast cancer.

In addition, the ESR expanded its reach through the ESR Research Seed Grants Global initiative, which offered three grants to radiology departments in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, or Africa. These grants, which have been awarded to applications focussed on exploring value-based radiology and enhancing quality in radiological imaging and interventional radiology, are supported by an unrestricted, non-exclusive grant from Siemens Healthineers. Three projects were awarded and started in January 2023. The topics range from improving clinical outcomes for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in Tanzania and assessing the safety and effectiveness of interventional radiology training in Uganda to enhancing the utilization of mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke through standardized protocols in Croatia. The grantees presented their research project during ESR/ESOR Fundamentals of Radiological Research on 3 October 2023. The three awardees and their research projects can be viewed here.

In November 2023, the EIBIR and the ESR launched the third call for proposals, inviting submissions for the 2024 ESR Research Seed Grants. Thematic areas for the 2024 grants include Contrast-enhanced Imaging and Imaging Surveillance in Cancer Treatment. Applications closed in December 2024, and the proposals are currently undergoing evaluation. The outcomes are expected to be announced in February 2024, with an award ceremony scheduled during ECR 2024.

Our projects

We are proud to support more than 220 partners from over 30 countries researching various forms of cancer and neurological disorders, and developing novel imaging technologies.

The SINFONIA project

The SINFONIA project aims to develop novel methodologies and tools that will provide a comprehensive risk appraisal for detrimental effects of radiation exposure of patients, workers, carers and comforters, the public and the environment during the management of patients suspected or diagnosed with lymphoma and brain tumours.

The SINFONIA project concluded its second reporting period at the end of August 2023 and thereafter prepared the reporting documents for submission to the European Commission. The SINFONIA project has made significant progress in several areas in 2023:

  • Research on patient dose estimation was conducted and out-of-field doses during treatment were evaluated.
  • Tools for various diagnostic X ray modalities and for radiogenic risk appraisal were developed.
  • A data repository for SINFONIA partners to share information was created.
  • The impact from the release of radiopharmaceuticals on humans and the environment was evaluated.
  • Blood samples to determine variability in radiotherapy-induced mutations were collected.
  • A survey on education and training in dosimetry, radiobiology, and radiation protection was conducted, and training courses were also organised.
  • An AI-assisted system for real-time staff dose assessment in nuclear medicine is under development.
The EuCanImage project

The four-year MEDIRAD project aims to enhance the scientific bases and clinical practice of radiation protection in the medical field and thereby addresses the need to better understand and evaluate the health effects of low-dose ionising radiation exposure from diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and from off-target effects in radiotherapy.

The MEDIRAD project is close to completing its third year and was recently granted a 9-month cost-neutral extension by the European Commission, with a new conclusion date of February 2022. Several major milestones have recently been achieved, including the setup and testing of a central DICOM repository for dosimetry, imaging meta-data, and biobanking. Data collection efforts for the first-ever establishment of European DRLs for specific applications of CT in nuclear medicine have also just been finalised. Moreover, the assessment of low dose radiation exposure from I-131 radioiodine ablation therapy of thyroid cancer is in full swing, laying the foundation for the first epidemiological investigations within nuclear medicine.

MEDIRAD has also significantly progressed towards improving the understanding of low-dose ionising radiation risks associated with major medical radiation procedures, by combining for the first time, clinical and preclinical studies to get further insight into the biological mechanisms and biomarkers that may play a role in the development and prediction of cardiac complications, and to use these insights for the development of predictive models. The clinical studies EARLY-HEART and BRACE are thus close to completion. Furthermore, the pre-clinical studies to identify mechanisms of radiation-induced cardiovascular toxicity are ongoing.

The first-ever nested case control study in a cohort of CT-scan exposed individuals, commenced its study into the long-term effects of the associated low doses on cancer risks in children. In this study, the interaction between genetic and epigenetic factors along with radiation dosage on cancer risk will be assessed, with the results having the potential to significantly impact the medical radiation protection field at large.

In addition, the stakeholder forum and a consensus building infrastructure for the development of the recommendations – based on the scientific evidence emerging from MEDIRAD’s research results – have been established, and work on the recommendations has started with the aim to enhance medical radiation protection in Europe. The MEDIRAD project is thus well on track in its stated goals to significantly enhance the scientific bases and clinical practice of radiation protection in the medical field.

More information on MEDIRAD is available here and on www.medirad-project.eu.

MEDIRAD project has received €9,995,145.75 in funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014- 2018 under grant agreement No. 755523 and is active until November 30, 2020.

The CHAIMELEON project

The CHAIMELEON project aims to set up a structured repository of health images and related clinical and molecular data on the most prevalent cancers in Europe: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. The repository will serve as a resource for developing, testing, and training of AI tools for a more precise and personalised management of cancer.

In 2023, the CHAIMELEON project achieved milestones in infrastructure, data, harmonisation, security, validation, clinical studies, sustainability, and dissemination. The CHAIMELEON repository, a robust distributed infrastructure, was established with 4,500 full cases and 2,000 image-only cases for lung, breast, colon, rectal, and prostate cancers. Harmonisation efforts improved Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers’ reproducibility, utilizing innovative online processing, including QTI sequences and CNN-based strategies.

The project moreover entered the internal and external validation phases. The internal validation phase was successfully completed, and the results fed back into the repository development. The consortium launched the CHAIMELEON Open Challenges to validate the usability and performance of the CHAIMELEON repository as a tool fostering AI experimentation for cancer management. In parallel, the partners started the preparations for the external validation and focused on the design of the early clinical validation studies for each cancer type.

In addition, a stable sustainability plan was designed to secure the project’s and the repository’s long-term viability, while an ambitious dissemination strategy showcased the project’s impact.

The HyperProbe project

“Transforming brain surgery by advancing functional-guided neuronavigational imaging” will develop a novel cost-effective, transportable, compact optical imaging system (“HyperProbe”) to measure brain function during surgery to achieve better guidance during brain tumour removal by 2027. It will thus critically improve surgical outcomes for patients.

The HyperProbe project will develop and validate a cost-effective, transportable, and easy-to-use device to be integrated with existing clinical instrumentation that is fully suitable for the operating room.

The project will significantly impact clinical practice as the consortium proposes, for the first time, a functional-imaging and machine-based decision-making approach in neurosurgery. The HyperProbe device will be the first multi-biomarker, quantitative optical imaging device and functional imaging device used in image-guided surgery to preserve brain functions and minimise the risk of postoperative neurological impairment and considerably improve the life expectancy of patients.

In the past year, the HyperProbe consortium has made remarkable advances in the design and development of the HyperProbe1 system. This high-performance, versatile, laboratory HSI setup for investigating novel biomarkers for glioma detection and optimisation of hyperspectral parameters has shown promising preliminary results for the clinical translation of its future prototypes. The preliminary testing has allowed the Consortium to study the areas in need for further optimisation for the final HyperProbe device. Another achievement in the first year of the project was the development of a computation tool able to simulate light diffusion through a digital brain incorporating realistic instrument specifications.

Furthermore, in 2023, the project successfully established a unified visual identity for the HyperProbe initiative. Additionally, the team implemented effective communication and dissemination strategies to convey project insights to the wider scientific community.

These significant advancements in the project’s first year will help the consortium advance further and the consortium will build on this accumulated knowledge to construct together the final device, HyperProbe2, ready for clinical study.

The i-Violin project

The i-Violin project addresses the need to optimise and harmonise oncological imaging procedures in Europe, building upon tools developed in other EC-funded projects to ensure their broad adoption.

Since the project began in September 2022, several significant achievements have been made, including adjustments to software tools for image quality assessment in other body regions and for broader applicability, as well as the development of a new quality performance test for systems based on phantom studies, designed for the optimisation procedure in CT imaging.

Concerning the Education & Training developed by WP7, three practical hands-on events at clinical partners’ sites (Leuven, Zagreb, and Ljubljana) are currently being organised and are scheduled to take place in Spring 2024. An i-Violin Webinar Series has been prepared and is set to occur between March and April 2024, and a stakeholder workshop has been organised for February 2024.

In terms of dissemination, a unified visual identity for the i-Violin initiative has been successfully established. The team has implemented effective communication and dissemination strategies to share project insights with the scientific community. i-Violin was presented at several conferences and events such as ECR 2023, ERPW 2023, etc. Additionally, regular updates have been submitted to the SAMIRA SGQS. The project’s outreach has extended to the IAEA, national authorities, regional authorities, and end-user communities.

An outreach connection to the EUCAIM Project, a flagship project implementing the European Cancer Imaging Initiative, has been established to explore collaboration opportunities.

The RadioVal project

The RadioVal project aims to develop and implement a very comprehensive validation of artificial intelligence solutions in breast cancer treatment. Such AI solutions enhance precision medicine and will help clinicians perform a more individualised treatment adjusted to the patients’ need.

RadioVal is the first multi-centre, multi-continental and multi-faceted clinical validation of radiomics driven estimation of NAC response in breast cancer. The project builds on the repositories, tools and results of five EU-funded projects from the AI for Health Imaging (AI4HI) Network, including a large multi-centre cancer imaging dataset on NAC treatment in breast cancer.

To test applicability as well as transferability, the validation will take place in eight clinical centres from three high-income EU countries (Sweden, Austria, Spain), two emerging EU countries (Poland, Croatia), and three countries from South America (Argentina), North Africa (Egypt) and Eurasia (Türkiye). RadioVal will develop a comprehensive and standardised methodological framework for multi-faceted radiomics evaluation. Furthermore, the project will introduce new tools to enable transparent and continuous evaluation and monitoring of the radiomics tools over time. The RadioVal study will be implemented through a multi-stakeholder approach, taking into account clinical and healthcare needs, as well as socio-ethical and regulatory requirements from day one.

In 2023, the RadioVal project made substantial progress in designing an AI passport, a traceability tool to monitor radiomic tools transparently over their lifespan. Furthermore, RadioVal partners have identified criteria and metrics for comprehensive radiomics AI evaluation in breast cancer. This includes integration with the AI passport and human-in-the-loop mechanisms.

In RadioVal, social innovation is used to identify new approaches for multi-stakeholder, inclusive and trusted validation, and implementation of radiomics solutions in tomorrow’s clinical oncology. In 2023, RadioVal designed a social innovation framework, including stakeholder mapping, a toolkit and methodology. However, this is only the beginning as the social innovation activities will last the entire project, in a highly iterative and interactive approach and until now already included 86 participants in different online and face-to-face co-creation sessions and interviews.

The SIMPLERAD project

Investigating the implementation of the Euratom and the EU legal bases with respect to the therapeutic uses of radiopharmaceuticals, the SIMPLERAD project made great progress in 2023, concluding its survey on the current practices and implementation of relevant European legal requirements in this field across the EU-27, Norway and Switzerland and formulating guidelines and recommendations for coherent implementation of these legal requirements and promotion of best practices and safer use.

The survey results were analysed for best practices and challenges faced by practitioners. Combined with the previous year’s comparative legal analysis and literature review, the consortium identified and prioritised 10 issues to be addressed by guidelines and recommendations. Stakeholders such as the project’s Advisory Board, European and national professional societies and HERCA were consulted, and the resulting work was presented at a workshop in Brussels in December. Boasting a diverse attendance of more than 110 participants, the workshop brought together a range of stakeholder groups for presentation and discussion of the guidelines and recommendations. Presentations can be found on the project website.

SIMPLERAD concludes in April 2024 with a final consensus publication of the guidelines and recommendations.

The ODELIA project

In 2023, the ODELIA project, a European project focused on developing and implementing a pan-European swarm learning network that enables privacy-preserving and democratic training of medical AI algorithms was successfully launched. By focusing on breast cancer detection in MRI screenings, the project aims to demonstrate the power of swarm learning and its potential applications in various clinical settings.

During its first project year, the ODELIA project achieved significant milestones across various domains. First steps were taken to establish a robust Swarm Learning environment, providing a decentralised and collaborative platform for training machine learning models across multiple institutions without the need for centralised data sharing. A comprehensive manual for setting up Swarm Learning onsite was compiled, and the partners demonstrated the application of Swarm Learning in a tangible case, specifically in breast cancer detection using MRI data. The instructions cover hardware and software prerequisites, preprocessing workflows, and the integration of Swarm Learning into existing workflows. A minimal viable product was release and successfully used to train an AI model on publicly available data, showcasing decentralised model training.

A technical documentation website for ODELIA’s open-source Swarm Leaning implementation was set up to enable the reuse the Odelia technical platform for other use cases. This technical documentation can be reached at odelia-ai.github.io.

Moreover, significant progress has been made in building a front end to facilitate both gathering of data for new AI model development and to bridge the gap to clinical usability.

In addition, the project’s achievements in 2023 encompassed the development of a cohesive visual identity for the ODELIA project and effective communication and dissemination strategies to share project insights with the broader scientific community. To learn more about the ODELIA project, visit the project website at www.odelila.ai.

The Med-IPUT project

Med-IPUT is a ground-breaking project revolutionizing medical ultrasound imaging. Today, medical ultrasound faces several limitations, such as low resolution, limited penetration depth, and high acoustic peak pressures. Therefore, the MED-IPUT project will develop a high-resolution, high-quality, recyclable medical imaging system based on a disruptive integrated photonic ultrasound transducer concept. Med-IPUT transducers are expected to be up to 100 times more sensitive than current ultrasound sensors. This will be a major leap in ultrasound component performance. The project is aiming to create a new generation of ultrasound imaging sensors that are more accurate, cost-effective, and safer for patients.

During the first year of the project, Med-IPUT has achieved:

  • Set up of the project operational plan
  • Assessed a risk and contingency plan
  • Developed a data management plan
  • Set up of the requirements for IPUT demonstrator
  • Set up of the system architecture of IPUT demonstrators
  • On the dissemination side, a communication kit has been created, as well as a plan for the exploitation and dissemination of results. By the end of the first year, a project introduction video has been released.

The project is coordinated by Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), and EIBIR is in charge of the project management and dissemination tasks.

You will find more project information here: https://med-iput.eu/

The SOLACE project

The SOLACE project aims at developing, testing and disseminating tools to help overcome identified bottlenecks and specifically address the health inequalities in different European countries. It will provide a toolbox for individualised approaches for lung cancer screening on a national or regional level.

Since its launch in April 2023, the SOLACE project has achieved significant milestones across multiple domains. In terms of dissemination, a unified visual identity for the SOLACE initiative has been successfully established. The team has implemented effective communication and dissemination strategies to share project insights with the broader scientific community.

Additionally, SOLACE has formed various support, evaluation, and advisory groups, such as the National Expert Teams, which now cover all 27 EU countries and all EEA countries. Conducting surveys and interviews with contacts in these countries has enabled SOLACE to compile a comprehensive report on the state of lung cancer screening and related needs in member states and EEA countries. Simultaneously, progress has been made in drafting and finalising the Data Management Plan and the Report on the concept for LCSP management and quality assurance.

SOLACE is carrying out three pilots focusing on enhancing knowledge and participation among female individuals, recruiting hard-to-reach individuals, and targeting higher-risk populations. Marked progress has been achieved in the initial phase, including the establishment of working groups, creation of active invitation measures to enhance female participation rates, and preparation of implementation measures.

The EUCAIM project

The 4-year SINFONIA project will develop novel methodologies and tools that will provide a comprehensive a risk appraisal for detrimental effects of radiation exposure on patients, workers, carers and comforters, the public and the environment during the management of patients suspected or diagnosed with lymphoma and brain tumours. The project started in September 2020. The multidisciplinary project consortium combines the expertise of 14 partners from 8 countries. It includes major universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry partners. A data repository will be developed for storing data as well as for the deployment of AI algorithms on an online platform. SINFONIA research outcomes for the two clinical examples, lymphoma and brain tumours, will be also applicable to other diseases. AI-powered personalised dosimetry tools will provide advanced knowledge on parameters affecting radiation detriment. This will help balancing risks and benefits of ionising radiation procedures and developing dose optimisation strategies. SINFONIA also will organise high level multidisciplinary training in the field of radiation dosimetry, risk appraisal and radiation protection and develop decommendations on radiological protection. The project is coordinated by EIBIR with Prof. John Damilakis (University of Crete) acting as Scientific Coordinator.

For more information, visit the project’s website at sinfonia-appraisal.eu.

This project has received €5,999,997.50 in funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2019-2020 under grant agreement No 945196 and is active until August 31, 2024.

The MARLIN project

Another Euratom tender project, MARLIN, kicked off in 2023 with a consortium of EIBIR, ESTRO and EFOMP members investigating the implementation of Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom and seeking to improve reporting and learning from patient-related incidents and near misses in radiotherapy, interventional cardiology, nuclear medicine and interventional and diagnostic radiology. The consortium conducted a survey of European competent authorities, national professional societies and hospital staff to determine the status of implementation of the Directive and current practices of reporting and analysing incidents and dissemination of lessons learned in each of the fields. A literature review and interviews with key experts among the survey respondents further informed the consortium on the operation and management of local, national and international incident learning systems in addition to current practices, associated successes and barriers to implementation.

The consortium has prepared draft guidelines and recommendations to enhance implementation of the legal requirements and systems to manage risk and disseminate lessons learned in the use of ionising radiation. Consultation with important stakeholders will be undertaken in 2024 before presentation at a project workshop in September.

The AI-POD project

The AI-POD project (Trustworthy AI Tools for the Prediction of Obesity Related Vascular Diseases) was launched in May 2023 by a consortium of 11 partners from eight countries, with the ambitious goal of reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks in the obese population through innovative AI-based predictive tools.

Obesity is a pressing concern in Europe. However, current risk assessment methods are inadequate in terms of accuracy and practical application. AI-POD aims to tackle these challenges by integrating clinical, laboratory, and imaging data to translate disease risk into actionable health information that can guide diagnostic steps and treatment recommendations. Over the course of four years, experts from various fields, including radiology, computational imaging research and industry, collaborate to develop a state-of-the-art imaging-based AI risk score, a clinical decision support system (CDSS), and a mobile app for personalized risk assessment and prediction of obesity-related CVDs and their associated complications.

During 2023, the consortium mainly focused on preparatory work, incl. ethics approvals for the retrospective and prospective studies, which will be carried out in six clinical sites, and the technical set up of the AI-POD’s central, secure and compliant multi modal data repository.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Ulrike Attenberger from the University Hospital Bonn, and EIBIR is in charge of the project management and dissemination tasks.

You will find more project information here: www.ai-pod.eu/

Financial report

EIBIR’s activities are financed by a number of sources, including Network and Industry Panel service package fees, support from the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and the shareholder organisations as well as EC funding for European research projects coordinated or supported by EIBIR and EIBIR project-related services provided to institutions against a fee.

A detailed annual financial report is presented to and approved by the shareholder organisations at the annual General Meeting, usually held during the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna.

At the EIBIR General Meeting held at ECR 2023 on March 2, 2023, the financial report for 2022 was approved;

Approved financial report for 2022
Total income €614,897.75
Total expenditure €588,420.09
Operating profit €26,477.67
Total equity €830,050.67

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