We also work at a national level with various partners, and further strengthened our cooperations in 2022.
Ministry of Defense
In the scope of our collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Defense, we are continuing to give shape to our Complex Acute Care accelerator and and disaster response. UMC Utrecht is for example a partner of the Central Military Hospital (CMH) and the Major Incidents Hospital. To strengthen our strategic cooperation, we organized two vision sessions in 2022. This led to a plan of action to establish a combined knowledge center for civil-military trauma care. We also looked at cooperation in the field of talent management.
The Major Incidents Hospital offers guaranteed, short-term capacity for the intake of military and civil victims of accidents and disasters.
In 2022, together with the Ministry of Defense, we carried out a major-incident drill in the Major Incidents Hospital . Minister Kuipers of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport also visited the Major Incidents Hospital, and Secretary-General of Defense Van Craaikamp was taken on a guided tour of the Major Incidents Hospital, following a visit to the Central Military Hospital (CMH) in Utrecht. At the minister’s request in early April we set up the Major Incidents Hospital for the first intake of medical evacuees from Ukraine . Fortunately there was in the end no need to use the facility.
Employees of the Ministry of Defense also once again gave us support in 2022 to create supraregional capacity for COVID-19 patients. UMC Utrecht was therefore again able to take over corona patients from hospitals across the Netherlands that had reached the limits of their capacity.
In 2022 we updated and once again confirmed our longstanding cooperation agreed with the Princess Máxima Center.
Princess Máxima Center
UMC Utrecht cooperates intensively with the Princess Máxima Center, the national center for pediatric oncology, in the field of care, research and education. We are next-door neighbors at Utrecht Science Park and share facilities with each other. In 2022 we updated and once again confirmed our longstanding cooperation with the Princess Máxima Center.
A noteworthy milestone in this cooperation was the opening of the intra-operative MRI-OR by Health, Welfare and Sports Minister Kuipers. Together with the Princess Máxima Center in 2022 we furthermore provided medical assistance to approximately 60 little Ukrainian refugee patients in the combined OR and Intensive Care. We also worked on three studies, for which a joint research fund was set up. These included a study on the use of sound vibrations in the treatment of serious brain tumors in children and adults, a study on immunotherapy for various types of tumors, and a study on theranostics, a combination of therapy and diagnosis, for children with cancer.
We are also working with the Princess Máxima Center on the Oncode-PACT project, for which the Dutch National Growth Fund gave a grant in 2022. And in October 2022, together with Dynamics of Youth from Utrecht University, we did a live radio broadcast on ‘Next Generation Radio’ from the Children’s Theater at Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital on how we can together make a difference for young cancer patients through healthcare and research.
Knowledge alliance between TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht
Together with the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), Wageningen University (WUR) and Utrecht University (UU), we form the EWUU Knowledge Alliance . . By building bridges between institutions, we make a joint contribution to solving major social challenges pertaining to health and circularity. The alliance combines complementary expertise particularly in the fields of: artificial intelligence, a circular society, prevention of health problems, and molecular life sciences.
In 2022 EWUU awarded three subsidies of € 50,000 to innovative, multidisciplinary studies that stimulate and give shape to sustainable cooperation between institutions. UMC Utrecht is cooperating actively in all three studies. Via eduxchange.nl we offer nearly 300 courses so that students can access education at a partner institution in a clear and simple way. We also started with the expansion of this offer with EWUU minors/packages. In 2022 we also started to develop combined innovative master’s programs that will focus on the EWUU topics ’Preventive Health’ and ‘Circular Society’ and that are based on existing innovative teaching concepts such as Challenge Based Learning.
Merger of Medical Ethics Review Committees (METC)
As of 2021 new European requirements apply to research with drugs, medical advices and in vitro diagnostics, with additional requirements in terms of quality, reporting and lead times. As of 2022, this also has consequences for research reviews. Medical Ethics Review Committees (METC) will have to professionalize further to meet these new requirements. This will demand cooperation between partners. To anticipate this, the METC of UMC Utrecht and the Princess Máxima Center (METC Utrecht) requested cooperation with the METC of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek/Dutch Cancer Institute which specializes in oncological research for adults. On January 1, 2022 this cooperation led to the merger of METC Utrecht and the METC of AVL/NKI to form METC NedMec .
The merger will ensure quality, a future-proof approach, and independence. METC NedMec has a strong oncological profile and operates countrywide. METC NedMec not only does reviews for researchers in member institutions, but also for various other researchers and (government) institutions in healthcare.