PARQ-COST: A pan-European network of excellence for sudden cardiac arrest

After working with Catalyze to secure a EU-Horizon 2020 grant for the ESCAPE-NET project, Dr. Hanno Tan returned to partner up again with Catalyze, this time winning funding from the European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) program. Catalyze provides ongoing project management support to the PARQ-COST project. We spoke with Dr. Tan about this exciting opportunity.

The PARQ Action aims to extend the ESCAPE-NET initiative, which has been developing the first European network that aids in improving prevention and treatment of SCA. With the successful PARQ Action application to the COST program, this initiative was both extended and the network expanded. PARQ Action will facilitate further research regarding (1) the inherited, acquired, and environmental risk factors of SCA across European regions, and (2) regional differences in preventative measures and first-response treatment strategies and their effectiveness. The ultimate aim? To decrease incidence of SCA and improve patient survival, while reducing the vast differences in survival rates across different regions of Europe.

Identifying additional funding

Following from the success of the ongoing ESCAPE-NET project, Dr. Tan was interested in further progressing this research, through establishing a network of excellence in SCA and resuscitation science. Catalyze introduced Dr. Tan to the COST program, a program intended to bring together European researchers from different countries to jointly develop their ideas and initiatives through trans-European cooperation.

Dr. Tan says, “I didn’t know about this program, luckily Catalyze informed be about it. It was very pleasant to increase the impact of my scientific work through a consortium. I wanted to continue with this network and extend the initiative.

“I was very happy with the quality of the proposal. One of the things I most valued was the strategic decisions taken towards depth of detail and the fit with the call.”

Once more, with help of Catalyze, Dr. Tan was awarded with COST. With this grant, Dr. Tan aims at further developing the SCA network, extending the resuscitation science in Europe and promoting the development of standards for the collection of clinical data, biological samples and facilitate data analysis as well as helping to develop risk prediction models.

The PARQ Action

Dr. Tan emphasizes that there was no existing SCA network in the EU due to difficulty of the topic, collecting patient samples, and the need for significant organization and money to establish such a thorough and well-functioning network. With the beginning of the PARQ-COST project, he hopes he can continue with this research and networking activities, and eventually change clinical guidelines to improve the prediction and treatment of SCA.

Dr. Tan highlights, “Networking activities take a lot of effort, the network needs to be made much bigger for our aims to be achievable.”

A very special part of the COST program is its openness to network growth. Anyone conducting similar work can apply to join the PARQ action, making this project a unique networking opportunity for the development of a truly interconnected European network, for unified treatment and prevention of SCA.

Being awarded EU funding is of course, a significant event for the progression of any research or R&D project.

We asked Dr. Tan what this means for the progression of his research: “A lot, almost everything! Currently EU funding is the most important funding for continuing with my research.”


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