Successful Immunoforce SymposiumPublished: 31-03-2016, | Member: Mead Johnson Innovation Services
Academic groups and industry partners that joined forces within the Immunoforce consortium gathered to share the output of their collaboration with the public on Thursday, 3 March 2016. On a high level, the underlying understanding on ‘immune competence’ was highlighted by the keynote speaker of the day, Prof. Willem van Eden from Utrecht University, who was also a member of the Immunoforce team. Participants discussed the impacts of the research results.
Prof. van Eden emphasized the importance of systemic interpretation, indicating e.g. that dampening inflammation is not always desirable, since it also palays a crucial role physiologically. He stated that ingredient interventions need to aim at improving the host’s capacity to regulate its immune responses to deal with continuous attacks occurring both under healthy conditions and under pathological conditions, and thereby maintaining a low as possible energy expenditure.
More than 50 enthusiastic participants, with strong human and veterinary scientist representations attended the event that was co-hosted by Trouw Nutrition and Mead Johnson Nutrition. The symposium that was also designed to provide a forum for network opportunities witnessed high engagement throughout the day. Discussion related to the translational value of the novel and optimized experimental models developed by the Immunoforce partners drew strong attention.
The dissemination of the results was well received and even larger after-effects are expected in the near future, as indicated by activities between different partners still ongoing beyond the consortium. The consortium of innovative companies in Gelderland, assisted by high level research institutes, demonstrated that connecting complimentary expertise can stimulate industrially relevant research activities which will definitely lead to a high economic spinoff in the Province of Gelderland.
The consortium, co-funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO, 2007-2013), by the Netherlands and by the Province of Gelderland, was initiated in 2012, and consisted of a partnership between Wageningen University, Radboud University, Utrecht University, NIZO Food Research, Trouw Nutrition, and Mead Johnson Nutrition.
The common objective was to improve immune competence in young animals and infants by nutritional interventions. The program has officially ended in December 2015 and has become an incubator for new collaborations involving multiple partners utilizing the available expertise and know-how, and at present resulted in 2 PhD thesis, 9 scientific publications (and several more in preparation), and 2 patent pending applications. Moreover, various new animals models have been developed, both applicable for human and animal research applications.