General Information

The development of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) is one of the main outputs of the SoHealthy project. For its development, the current and future research trends within the footcare sector were identified first and the effect of ageing, obesity and diabetes on foot was defined. The information about the effect of these pathologies / conditions on the foot will help the industry better understand the patients’ needs in order to translate them into high quality products.

The following step after obtaining a list of technology trends is to define which of them are the most relevant for the footcare industry and when they are expected to be available (to establish a temporal framework). To this end, five working groups have been created.   

Basic research, industry needs and patients’ needs are interconnected so that both, basic research and the industry should answer patients’ needs. Therefore, we do believe that patients’ needs are -should be- the drivers of the footcare sector, leading the research topics towards new industry applications and these ones to new products and/or product modifications that better answer patients’ needs. To that end, it is necessary a fluent communication between all agents of the value chain, but unfortunately many times this is not achieved. SoHealthy project is trying to create a framework of dialogue and collaboration among the different actors of the footcare sector in order to generate a joint Strategic Research Agenda that unifies the vision of all of them. With that aim, the working groups are comprised of members from different sectors (industry, research centres, universities….etc) and different EU-Med countries. 

These working groups have been created around eleven major research areas and they try to answer five major challenges within the footcare sector, these are:

1 - Towards more efficient provision

2 - Towards reduced foot infection

3 - Towards materials innovation

4 - Up-Skill providers

5 - End-user driven

These working groups are comprised of high quality profesionals / researchers that ensure a balanced representation of skills and qualities and a broad and deep range of expertise and perspectives. In addition, for the creation of the working groups the following criteria selection have been taking into consideration:

1. Members have to be experts and/or have wide experience in one or more areas covered by the working group: Understanding expert as a professional who has acquired knowledge and skills through study and practice over the years, in a particular field or subject, to the extent that his or her opinion may be helpful in fact finding, problem solving, or understanding of a situation. 

2. All research areas (11 in total) should be covered

3. The working groups will be made up of 10 members, maximum: The number of members of a working group should be sufficient to fulfil its mandate but shall not exceed 10 in order to efficiently manage each one.

4. All working groups should have representatives from the EU and MED countries, in order to analyse the geographical differences: the Sohealthy project tries, among other activities, to develop a joint SRA, for which a better understanding of each country’s idiosyncrasy and situation is needed.

5. The working groups have to be multidisplinary and, if possible, to have representatives from different sectors (industry, research centres, universities….etc): This criteria is in line with the idea of developing a joint Strategic Research Agenda that unifies the vision of different actors from different sectors and research fields.