ESF Research Conferences

International Research Conference of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy with the support of the ESF


Chaired by


Frederic M.SchererE-Mail
Harvard UniversityJohn F. Kennedy School of GovernmentCambridgeUnited States


M.N. GrahamDukesE-Mail
Oslo UniversityFaculty of MedicineUnit for Drug Policy StudiesOsloNorway


4-8 October 2007


Hotel Kieler Yacht Club (KYC), Kiel, Germany
The conference - which should have initially been held at the Landeskulturzentrum Salzau - will finally take place at the Hotel Kieler Yacht Club (KYC). Further information about practical arrangements (including group transportation on arrival and departure days) will be provided in due course. Accommodation will be booked in nearby hotels.

Final Programme & List of Accepted Participants

Biomedical innovation is likely to be the most important source of future gains in quality of life and longevity worldwide and represents the socially most valuable major investment opportunity at the beginning of the 21st century. The process of globalization has enhanced that opportunity by extending the scale at which economies of scale in the generation and diffusion of new medical knowledge and technology can be exploited. To do so more efficiently will require the reorganization of a wide variety of activities, institutions and regulations that determine how well the private incentives are aligned with the global priorities in maximizing human welfare. Particular emphasis will have to be placed on novel knowledge management systems that allow the social benefits and risks of new therapies to be predicted with greater accuracy and earlier in the development process of biomedical technologies.

The conference will assemble leading scholars from the most dynamic and most promising fields of biomedicine as well as health economists and other social scientists who can help with new insights from their own research to identify efficient research and investment strategies for specific fields and contribute to the design of knowledge management systems in biomedical innovation. In this way, the conference will provide a unique forum to develop and discuss new ideas about funding, about the design of intellectual property rights and other incentive mechanisms and about diffusion policies, both with regard to research findings in general and with regard to particular new technologies that are ready for practical application. Specific fields to be represented may include nanomedicine, systems biology, functional genomics, pharmacogenetics, cancer research, organ transplantation, infectiology, and immunology.

In each of these fields, the conference will consider technological opportunities and current innovation barriers in order to identify priorities for further research investments and policy action. To determine research priorities and the optimal amount of funding, the conference will discuss new developments in economic methods, such as cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, as well as strategies to mobilize the required funds at the national and at the global level. The distribution of the financial burden across social groups within and between countries as well as the role of health insurance schemes, government taxes and other mechanisms in raising the funds will be considered.

© Dräger Medical, Lübeck, Germany

A second set of issues for the conference arises from the role of intellectual property rights and other incentive mechanisms in the development of specific fields; patents, the strongest form of intellectual property rights, are known to have serious shortcomings and may not even be the second-best solution in some fields of biomedical innovation, nor should they be uncritically viewed as a panacea to the diffusion problem. The conference will discuss how new strategies to set incentives for innovation and diffusion, such as the academic model of “open source,” can play a greater role in biomedical research and development, especially in view of the need to improve the flow of knowledge between universities and private industry.

A third set of issues arises from the diffusion problem, broadly defined as spanning the whole value-chain from the inventor to the consumer of health care services that incorporate biomedical innovations. Diffusion in this broad sense is bound to be affected by a variety of critical policy choices, such as in the design of regulations for clinical trials, in the definition of information and efficacy requirements for biomedical product approvals, and in the pricing and reimbursement decisions of social health insurance and national health systems. Our conference will provide the forum to discuss how these choices and other organizational issues in biomedical innovation can and should be resolved within countries and at the international level – from a European and from a global perspective.

Sessions will focus on:

  • Demand and Supply in the Global Market for Biomedical Innovation
  • The Role of Government Funding and Private Insurance
  • Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade
  • The Social Returns to Biomedical Research
  • The Fragile State of Europe’s Biomedical Industry
  • Health Care Institutions, Investment Incentives, and the Diffusion of Innovations
Final Programme Word (4.6 MB) PDF (1.3 MB) Last Updated 27-September-2007
List of Invited Speakers and Accepted Participants

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

There will be no short talks other than those listed on the final programme (see above). All other abstracts are accepted as posters.

Posters can be fixed with magnets and pins onto poster panels. Poster size should be no more than 100 cm high x 70 cm wide. Use letters and drawings that can be read from approximately 100 cm distance.

Practical Information Guide

Detailed information on all practical aspects of the conference (access to site, registration & fee payments, accommodation, travel reimbursements...) is available from the Practical Information Guide. Please read it fully and carefully...

Practical Information Guide Word (760 KB) PDF (1.6 MB) Last Updated 5-September-2007

Please note that SINGLE accommodation can only be guaranteed to invited speakers. All other participants will have to share a TWIN room. In case single rooms would become available at the time of the conference, rooms will be attributed on a “first come, first served” basis. Only the TWIN conference fee (EUR 835) should be paid to the ESF when registering. The supplement for single should be paid to the venue directly. Should you wish to be put on waiting list for single accommodation, please contact Ms. Jean Kelly.

Conference Fees


What the fees cover

EUR 835

conference, meals and twin room

EUR 610

non-resident: conference, meals (no room)

Note: no single accommodation available except for invited speakers

Some grants available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and possibly part of the travel costs. Grant requests should be made by ticking appropriate field(s) in the paragraph "Grant application" of the application form.

Registration Form

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration Form.
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 27 September 2007

ESF Contact

Conference Officer

Phone: +32 (0)2 533 2025
Fax: +32 (0)2 538 8486
Please quote 07-247 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

With Support from