EPIZONE Overview 2016

Published on
December 20, 2016

Looking back on 2016 and forward to 2017.

Epizootic disease outbreaks
In 2016 there again were a number of important epizootic disease outbreaks in Europe for EPIZONE partners and the Research Group to work on. The whole of Europe is currently struggling with H5 Influenza in waterfowl and poultry farms. A major outbreak of Blue Tongue in France, which appeared very hard to control. Continuing cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in pig farms and introductions of African Swine Fever at the Eastern border especially in Poland. Schmallenberg virus returning and causing an outbreak in Britain very recently. And there certainly has been more work on other epizootics also.

20th partner of EPIZONE
In 2016 the National Veterinary Research Institute of Serbia has become the 20st partner of EPIZONE! With the increasing number of partners and its solid networking activities EPIZONE acquires a stronger position and becomes a more and more important network of scientists for the European Commission, OIE and other organizations involved in animal infectious disease control. Our aim will be to try to include more institutes in more countries, and strengthen our network even more.

10Th Annual Meeting
The 5th annual meeting of the EPIZONE ERG and the 10th annual meeting of EPIZONE was another 2016 highlight! More than 200 international guests participated in this meeting hosted by CISA-INIA. A very good meeting again: well-organized, good atmosphere, good key-notes, good abstracts presentations, good science, delightful dinner in the casino in Madrid, and an inspiring Young EPIZONE meeting, etc. Wonderful! Looking forward to the next!

EPIZONE workshops
We look back on a very successful Workshop Next Generation Sequencing application and Bioinformatics. A comprehensive introduction to NGS technologies and applications in veterinary virology, and an opportunity to exchange and discuss experiences with NGS and learn more about the NGS work carried out by other institutes. Very well organized by CODA-CERVA Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center, Brussels, Belgium, 5-8 April 2016). The workshop consisted of both theoretical lectures and practical bioinformatics sessions. In 2017 we will discuss how to follow up on this.

Short Term Scientific Missions
In 2016 at least 4 applications for scientific missions have been awarded. In all cases the applicants were very enthusiastic about this opportunity. STMs are a very fruitful instrument for cooperation between EPIZONE partners, especially for young scientists. The Coordinating Forum of our network strongly supports these missions and see them as a primary activity for funding. And there is room to fund more scientific missions, so we strongly recommend young scientists to send in an application in 2017!

As EPIZONE, we were as surprised about the Brexit as a lot of foreign countries. Within EPIZONE we have two partner institutes form the UK and both of these institutes have always been very active and valuable partners of our network. Therefore we definitely hope that both the Pirbright Institute as well as APHA will stay to be member of EPIZONE so we can continue our cooperations also in the 2017 and thereafter.

11th AM EPIZONE in Paris
The 11th Annual Meeting EPIZONE in 2017 will be held in Paris.
The meeting will be hosted by ANSES. We do not have details yet about the dates and the venue but our French colleagues are working hard to come up with this information very soon, and we hope to have this on our EPIZONE website as early as possible in 2017!

Horizon 2020 program
EPIZONE partners are working together on at least 3 large proposals in the earliest EU Horizon 2020 call. The deadline for these proposals will be in February 2017 so with Christmas coming close we will have to shift gear very quickly in January to finalize these proposals in time. However, our partners have become experienced in working together on such proposals so we are confident this will work out well.

Wishing everybody a wonderful Christmas and an extremely good 2017!

Wim van der Poel
Coordinator of EPIZONE