---> The IMIRC website here dates back to 2008. The IMIRC was initially blocked in 2008 by the Barroso Team (European Commission) and its Part III plagiarised. The IMIRC shall be progressively updated in 2020 hopefully to be organised in the future. The update shall necessarily take quite some time <---
International Multidisciplinary Interface Research Congress
One of the basic ideas behind the publishing of Expressions of Interest (EoIs) on the EU Cordis Web Site - European Commission 6th Framework Programme - is to enable researchers to create new initiatives and/or larger consortia.
I am therefore inviting potential partners to extend their respective areas of interests into a mutual partnership for applications within a concrete integrated interdisciplinary framework programme.
It may sometimes be useful to exchange ideas in a broader context... and this in turn may help you in your own research. On the other hand, your own experience would certainly benefit to us all.
We submitted the EoI NewPOL "The Physics of Life and the Neuroimmunoendocrine System: an integrated understanding of diseases and healing potential in the human being explored using novel approaches to therapy". The corresponding url is http://eoi.cordis.lu/dsp_details.cfm?ID=30219 and can be found on the Cordis Web Site.
Preparations are being made for a very ambitious International Multidisciplinary Interface Research Congress: no passive presentations but multiple highly interactive interdisciplinary workshops for a period of at least two-three weeks. Inter-Workshop conclusions shall be mandatory, the results compared, analysed, discussed between academia/potential business partners and published at the end of the IMIRC.
This whole enterprise is organised by the NewPOL Consortium Network.
One of the characteristics of this Congress is that it (or part of it) shall be open to the General Public: just how this last is going to be managed on a practical basis shall have to be discussed during the Organisation Committee Meeting in Brussels.
--- Interfaces ---
An Interface is...?
This is for you to find out.
Indeed. But who and what exactly are you?
An interface is... what is between.
All you need to do now is "understand" what is meant by "is", what is "what" and what is "between".
But what "happens" when you "understand"?
The type of interface depends on the level of abstraction.
A galaxy is an interface. A human being is an interface. A language is an interface. The social, cultural, legal, economic, educational and political systems and exchanges are/use interfaces. A cell membrane, complex interlocking biochemical processes, a quark, ... all are interfaces in their own way. Our senses gather information through transduction interfaces.
Intercommunication and complex networks use interfaces, the mind processes data through interfaces and is itself an interface. Monitoring patients (and any measuring device for that matter) and educational tools imply the human/machine and/or computer interface...
Business, commerce, trade...necessarily deal with interfaces.
Making the world population aware of potential hazards and of the need to improve the Quality of Life on this planet also means interfaces.
The NewPOL Consortium Network is in fact a network of smaller consortia: cognitive, educational, conceptual interfaces....
--- The Missing Link ---
How are YOU going to integrate YOUR IDEAS with the interests of the other participants?
First please check out the
This Vertical approach is in itself very instructive and challenging as you shall soon find out.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
This is for YOU to find out...
If you can answer these questions, you shall already be halfway there. By "there", I mean "understanding".
This is in fact also what the Congress is for...
I have tried to convince many colleagues in the scientific and medical community of the necessity to "rethink" research in order to go beyond the deadlocks that we are faced with in the future and create a new thinking paradigm that shall enable an integrated understanding of the Life Sciences in the Universe. What is Disease? What is Health? What is Life? What is Information? The vertical integrated cooperation between the participants (clinicians, computer scientists, immunologists, biochemists, biophysicists, neurologists, psychiatrists, mathematicians, experts in bio and nanotechnology, sociologists, politicians, company CEOs and business managers, etc...) in the NewPOL Consortium Network shall undoubtedly lead to concrete innovative approaches in dealing with these issues.
--- Our Planet Earth ---
We are the world and the world is us.
I was once asked the following question: "...please explain to me why you do all this, and why we do all this?"
I replied: "The search for a potential common denominator through the study of interfaces, networks and missing links in the Life Sciences may lead to a new paradigm for improving the Quality of Life and achieving harmony on this Planet."
Who or what is going to do the "searching", the "thinking", the "understanding" and the "proposing"?
Now, the European Partners for the Environment (EPE) invited me to a very interesting Think Tank Meeting in Brussels on the quality of life, the environment, the Metamorphosis of Europe and the "Well-Being" Society, the education-business interface, sustainable development, knowledge society and the right that every human being has to fulfil her/his dreams.
There was a round-the-table discussion with about 50 people and we worked at it all day. I was surprised and pleased to note that quite a few of the panellists and participants were indeed Officers from the European Commission.
The Press Release and the Summary of the Think-Tank Note 2004 can be found respectively at:
I personally insisted on the necessity to review the educational system. I might add that "education" goes far beyond inculcation of knowledge through institutions, the "family", the established social, cultural, economic and political system. Education is a subset of "learning"...and we learn through our senses (touch, sound, sight, taste, smell, ...) ... consciously and unconsciously ... passively and actively ... inwardly and outwardly.
I made a few remarks to all of the participants (directly and by e-mail after the Meeting)...:
Understanding the concept of "Well-Being" and going beyond..... is a notion that shall not be easy to put into practice. Many are at a loss as to just how one can take up this somewhat immaterial and abstract challenge. Besides, this debate should be open to the general public from all nationalities and not reserved to an "elite" or a round-the-table discussion. Maximum publicity should be given through television/radio programmes. People should begin to WANT to participate! The people have their say and must be listened to: they are just as important - if not more - than a panel of "experts". We are the world and the world is us.
Actually, "Well-Being" shall only come into existence once this notion has ceased to be a concept, if you see what I mean...
Indeed, when you think about it, why does "Well-Being" need to be conceptualised in the first place? When you are near the top of a cliff, do you need a concept to tell you that you must not go over it??
Concepts may be just postponing - sometimes urgent - action.
We live in a world of concepts...and these have not made this planet any the wiser or happier!
So, one must be careful when bringing in ANOTHER concept: "Well-Being"....
The draft must offer something more than just a litany of words that have lost their meaning: human rights, solidarity, mutual respect or what have you. Words, just words... I became allergic to words long ago.
The document must also remain simple: sophisticated presentations must not cover up a lack of inspiration.
A new educational system is absolutely essential: education does NOT sufficiently stand out in your draft. You CANNOT expect to properly deal with "Well-Being" using the present educational system (whatever the country): the latter is far too conventional and fragmented.
Why do we need to look elsewhere for this initiative? Aren't we tired of having to always ASK (to put it mildly) for support? I know I was, and still am!
We want concrete action: not just smiles...or polite, soothing words that shall get us nowhere. I guess we are eager to make progress. Action means something "powerful" that also appeals to the people. Those who are presently at the head of many institutions (EU, Academic, Political, National(!), etc...) are either themselves still far too conventional or work with colleagues with old minds and lack of vision. As I once said before, it's not really their fault: they have just been educated that way... Now, are THEY going to help us getting things going? Give some kind of an electroshock to the social, educational and political system? Be realistic: I doubt it. This would mean questioning Themselves, Their backgrounds and Their achievements too much...
Look at the top political, economic and financial leaders: despite their Top Qualifications, they have/are making a thorough mess of this world. Indeed, you can even have outstanding academic credentials from the world's "top universities" and yet... lie to this world.
So...WHAT OF these qualifications?
Are they in any way USEFUL??
As you can see, we are back to where we started: education...
Perhaps through an integrated interdisciplinary consortium - that is by definition necessarily open to multidisciplinary/cultural discussions - we shall be able to give politics a "Renaissance" in the noble sense of the word. This is what the NewPOL Consortium Network has/is in part working on now. There are already 17 NewPOL National Coordinators (for 17 Countries) [Note: this text was written in 2004]. I certainly do think that our two organisations could certainly benefit from each other's experience.
I am also wondering whether one could not in the distant future consider exchanging services for pure "ethical" reasons: "contributing to the quality of life on this planet as a whole". Believe it or not, we are living TOGETHER on this little planet Earth. I recently came across a NON-Profit Pharmaceutical Company. An oxymoron, but still..... I wonder......?
Another important element to consider may be patents...intellectual property...copyright. Patents are also creating havoc and not just in the States. They could seriously endanger creativity. We speak of dreams: let's hope that these shall also not be patented in the near future. Dreaming of a dream would not be allowed!
Business and the economic system may also have to be rethought. The break-down of the 2003 WTO talks in Cancun was to be expected. We need to construct a new model: "experts" with their traditional views and background have failed. It is time to start looking elsewhere.
A system shall give results based on that system. Shall this reflect "reality"?
--- General Structure ---
The aims and objectives of the Congress are presented in Three Parts: I - II - III
I have tried to make some kind of order out of the chaotic inflow of EoIs. The Congress - which could be called "Ideas without Frontiers" - is a Research Congress aimed at understanding the Life Sciences by integrating interdisciplinary approaches.
The Congress shall be a dynamic interactive platform exploring (and confronting) new/old ideas regarding the Quality of Life and the Life Sciences in the Universe.
The Congress shall last at least two/three weeks during which multiple Workshops shall be held and organised according to 10 Network Programmes.
The Workshops shall be organised in such a way that the ratio of in parallel/in series sessions tends to zero. The shorter the Congress, the greater the number of parallel Workshops that must be crammed in a given period, and the greater the stress and frustration of an increasing number of participants.
We need Time and Space... No place for competition. Just creation.
The structure of each of the ten Network Programmes is highly articulate and atypical. Each Network Programme is presented in the form of keywords/phrases that are used as a source of inspiration for the Workshops. Each keyword (= node) is there to get you thinking and your imagination going: each can be linked to just about any other keyword (node) in a given Network Programme - how...? - or between different Network Programmes (The latter is the object of PART II of the Congress. Please see below.)
Just how you may wish to elaborate on a given keyword or how to cross-link between different key phrases is entirely up to you, the participant.
I have kept very close to the initial presentation (cf. NewPOL attachment above) in order to convey the same atmosphere. I have deliberately insisted on certain expressions for obvious reasons. Finally, I have tried to make these Network Programmes accessible to a wide public with different backgrounds.
Each Network Programme has its own Principal Network Programme Coordinator and each Workshop shall have its own Workshop Coordinator. A quite unique Space Life Sciences Network Programme is also included.
In order to participate, applicants must be admitted in the Workshop Coordinator's own group or create his/her own Workshop.
Every potential participant is encouraged to see how he/she can suggest Workshop Themes that could fit within any of the 10 Network Programmes. These Workshop Themes can be discussed openly with any of the researchers on our List and/or writing to the relevant Network Programme Coordinator.
If your project is not quite ready (e.g. for 7FP/business/academic/organisation/...submission) but your Workshop Theme is accepted, you shall also be able to use the Lists to find partners for your Workshop. [Partners can also be found outside the Lists provided that you have been admitted to the Consortium]. You shall then be able to present a more concrete proposal after having completed your Workshop during the Congress.
The usual procedure is to submit your workshop proposal theme to the relevant Network Programme Coordinator.
The next step shall be to either submit your project to the Commission (or other institutions/commercial or academic partners...) and/or to publish your project in the Center's Journal (Copyright: cf. below). There are three possibilities:
The ideal maximum number of participants/workshop should turn around 10. However, this may have to be increased to an absolute maximum of 30 if the total number of participants for the Congress is very large.
Conclusions at the end of each workshop shall be mandatory. These shall be presented by each Workshop Coordinator for ALL to hear in PART II of the Congress.
PART II. The Future: the NewPOL Discussion Forum.
ALL conclusions shall be compared and worked on: new ideas/initiatives and practical suggestions are obviously expected. These and the final conclusions shall then be published in the Center's (first!) Journal (cf. PART III): copyright! We hope to have a partner specialised in patents. The participants shall also be able to meet company directors/delegates directly (and vice-versa) for possible collaboration in a pleasant, creative and less formal atmosphere. Of course, companies are also on the lookout for original ideas. So some solution shall have to be found. The workshops shall remain private and confidential until results are published. This could be done directly so as to safeguard intellectual property and enabling commercial/biotech delegates to discuss possibilities at the end of PART II of the Congress. The final transcription can then be presented later in the Center's Journal (cf. PART III).
In other words, the Congress shall be anything but passive and therefore promises to be very exciting!
As one Nobel Prize winner rightly said during a conference in Brussels, in many cases of fundamental research you CANNOT specify (as is required by the Commission) what the outcome of your research is going to be. The Congress shall reflect the same basic philosophy and shall be largely exploratory: we cannot know what the "specific" outcome shall be at this stage.
PART III. The International Interface Research Center. (IIRC)
This last part shall deal with the design and conception of both the actual construction of the
Center itself and the Center's Journal.
--- Hope...? ---
Many use up to fifty percent (or more) of their time and energy trying to find support through application forms that are submitted to countless institutions (Research Institutions, Universities, European Commission, Science Foundations, ...)
There are two facts to keep in mind:
What are your chances...?
Furthermore, I am not at all satisfied by the EU selection process (I personally reject it). I have been told that this has always been a highly controversial and difficult problem.
Indeed, how are Evaluators Evaluated?
I am quite certain that similar problems abound in far too many other institutions and universities. How many ideas are maybe stolen during any "selection" process? How many projects have been rejected but thereafter used by unscrupulous academics during application procedures? Are all their achievements/degrees necessarily deserved? How many may have exploited brilliant assistants (or students?) like Rosalind Franklin - the dark lady of DNA - to their own ends?
Now, the "selection" process for the Congress is much simpler and straightforward.
You have an original theme for a workshop that fits in within the overall framework programme? You can support your new, innovative ideas on a theoretical and/or practical basis? Come along! Create your workshop! Discuss your ideas with SMEs/Industries/Business partners/Academics/ ... etc...directly! That's the idea!
The Congress is a platform where researchers/participants are invited irrespective of whether their project has been "selected" by the Evaluators or not.
Research does not begin/stop with ANY establishment, be it the European Commission or any other Institution/University.
Research begins with YOU...
... whatever your background
... provided that you have an original idea and can defend it.
Learning, the freedom to discover, creativity and access to information is a natural and universal process. A fundamental right for each and every human being that should not be monopolised by the All Powerful Academic Establishment that Decides, Filters, Keeps and ... isolates itself from the people.
The Congress (PARTS I & II) is therefore something every researcher or applicant can fall back on to develop her/his innovative initiatives.
--- Objectives ---
The Congress Framework Programme
includes that of the 7FP: not the other way round. Its highly mobile interactive
structure can be far more easily adapted to transcultural, cross-cutting and
integrated holistic research initiatives. The 6FP is still far too rigid,
conventional and fragmented.
Our objectives are therefore to develop the EU 7FP but on a much more ambitious, interactive and dynamic multidisciplinary basis and global perspective. The educational, social, economic and political systems must be entirely rethought. This represents a formidable PUBLIC challenge.
The "European Union" and "United Nations" have unfortunately both lost a great deal of their political credibility and respectability. This does NOT mean that I am against the basic idea behind these institutions: I just feel that they have had their time (and chance...), and that the moment has come to go beyond and create a new democratic(!!!) World Union on a completely new basis that has yet to be defined.
I do believe that internal dysfunctions and perhaps the very infrastructure of the "EU"/"UN" have both largely contributed to their present difficulties. A future implosion is not to be excluded.
Distinguished colleagues at the European Commission have had excellent ideas and initiatives, but I feel that many of their collaborators seem to have disserved their peers more than anything else.
The EU has now extended its "Union" by integrating more countries: this is a good idea on the surface, but not if they use the same outdated and inefficient model. This could well also extend the internal dysfunctions and bring further inner (and therefore outer) chaos for international relations and world trade, simply put because of communication and interface problems.
Extending the European Union to a democratic World Union, certainly. But based on another more open, mobile, flexible, interactive and less bureaucratic/technocratic (infra)structure. This is also one of the objectives of the Congress.
I don't see why our initiative couldn't take off from the 7FP on a parallel basis, develop independently and - why not? - offer an alternative to the EU and UN...
--- Organisation ---
The Congress shall be organised by the NewPOL Consortium Network that has created the IMIRC Organising Committee for the occasion.
The IMIRC Organising Committee consists of the NewPOL Network National Coordinators and IMIRC Network Programme Coordinators. Indeed, National Coordinators are also active outside the IMIRC preparations.
The Organising Committee Meeting shall be held in Tervuren/Brussels (Belgium) and organise its first International Press Conference for the occasion.
Direct EU funding for this first Organising Committee Meeting through the EU 7FP National Contact Points seems to be possible.
--- Funds ---
I know that funds represent a serious problem for ALL. My suggestion is that finding funds might be easier for private research projects during the Congress because the latter shall be a highly publicised, challenging, popular and dynamic event offering an alternative to the future: workshops, DIRECT meetings between potential business partners (industries/SMEs) and Academics, public debates on vital issues, ... the general atmosphere may encourage some to consider business transactions that would have stood a poor chance of being considered in other circumstances. Some may even find funds directly without having to apply to the Commission.
Academic (Research institutions, Universities, ...), commercial ( SMEs, Industries, ...), non-profit/non-governmental and public partners/organisations are warmly invited to get in touch with the NewPOL Consortium Network HQ in Tervuren and take part in the preparations for the Congress. Sponsors and commercial sectors might like to support our initiative through donations or advertising on this (or the satellite) web site(s): the image conveyed by the NewPOL Consortium Network shall definitely appeal to the public. Finally, there shall be many opportunities not only to develop but also to create(!) new SMEs.
--- Action ---
Should you be interested in taking part in this initiative, please send us - or the appropriate National Coordinator - an abstract (summary) of your activities/work, your full professional/private (where appropriate) address, e-mail and the very short outline of your (or company's) ideas that you would like to see under "Area of Interest" (cf. Academia - Business - Non-Profit & NGOs - Artists - Children - Public).
If your profile is considered appropriate for the Congress, you shall be invited to join the NewPOL Consortium Network and your details shall automatically be published in one of the NewPOL Network Academia - Business - Non-Profit & NGO - Artists - Children - Public Web Pages. You shall then also be included in the NewPOL mailing list and receive updates regarding developments.
The Congress promises to be a very exciting and challenging venture and may also help to set an example to all: breaking the barriers between those who "know" and those who do not "know", between what is "known" and what is not "known". The search for a potential common denominator through the study of interfaces, networks and missing links in the Life Sciences may lead to a new paradigm for improving the Quality of Life and achieving harmony on this Planet.
Professor Vivian R. F. Linssen D.I.
Founder and Director
International Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Center a.s.b.l./v.z.w.
Principal Coordinator NewPOL Network
url 1: www.imnrc.org
url 2: www.infodiagnosis.com