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Community approach

The success of joint work within the TMF depends to a significant extent on the active input from its members who, together with the strategic boards and with the support of the TMF Office, carry out a large share of the work in the topic-specific working groups. The working groups initiate projects, monitor their progress and actively drive them forward. This ensures that the TMF topics and results enjoy a broad consensus within the medical scientific community.  

The forums provide, first and foremost, an opportunity to discuss and, wherever possible, solve the questions and problems which arise from certain role-specific and organizational tasks within the networks.

At present there are seven active working groups and four active forums within the TMF.

  1. Biobanking working group

    Biobanking infrastructure and framework

    Biobanking is regarded as a key resource for modern molecular medical research – a working group in the TMF considers infrastructure and framework.

     

  2. Data protection working group

    Focus on data protection and security issues

    The key role of this working group is to advise the TMF networks on data protection and security issues as well as clarify unresolved data protection problems. A generic data protection concept with two alternative models was developed as a basis for consultation. This concept was well received by the Data Protection Officers at state and federal level and it can be refined to create specific concepts for each network. It also includes examples of phrasing for informed consent declarations.

     

  3. IT infrastructure and quality management working group

    Supporting working procedures and assuring quality

    Information technology constitutes a necessary and important basis for contemporary scientific work. In networked structures in particular the establishment and use of IT-based tools for collaboration is an essential quality criterion for joint work. The main goal pursued by the TMF IT infrastructure and quality management working group is therefore to support working procedures in medical research networks and contribute to quality assurance.

     

  4. Management of clinical trials working group

    Ensuring the quality of science-driven trials

    The working group for the management of clinical trials was set up in 2004 in order to develop joint solutions within the TMF community to the new and complex requirements placed on science-driven clinical trials as a result of the 12th amendment to the German Pharmaceutical Products Act (AMG) and to intensify the exchange between research networks on this issue.

     

  5. Medical technology working group

    Considering the unique issues affecting clinical trials on medical devices

    The main focus of the medical technology working group is clinical trials and studies on medical devices in accordance with the German Medical Devices Act (MPG). The goal of the joint activities is to ensure the conformity and quality of clinical trials on medical devices in accordance with the German Medical Devices Act.

     

  6. Molecular medicine working group

    Checking molecular data

    One of the main focuses of the molecular medicine working group, which was founded in the TMF in 2007, is quality control for molecular data at various levels.

     

  7. Network coordination working group

    Network management and sustainability

    The CEOs/ coordinators of the medical research networks use their working group to discuss general issues of management, sponsorship and the sustainability of major network projects, to intensify the existing links, to develop more efficient processes and to achieve legal certainty on specific issues.

     

  8. Science communication working group

    Communicating common messages

    The TMF member networks all pursue a common goal: they create added value for patients and for Germany as a research location by means of networked research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This working group plans and carries out measures for joint strategic science and health communication.

     

  9. Zoonoses and infection research working group

    Information exchange and comprehensive cooperation

    The zoonoses and infection research working group was set up in the TMF at the end of 2007 in order to cover the topics and requirements of the networks for zoonoses research, which were included in the TMF in 2007, as well as various other networks in the field of infection research.

     

  10. Grid forum

    National cooperation forum for Grid technology in biomedical research

    The German Grid projects in the fields of medicine, medical research and life sciences collaborate in the TMF 'Grid forum'. Together, the projects in this forum serve to enhance national cooperation with D-Grid as well as international cooperation with the HealthGrid at European level and caBIG in the US.

     

  11. Metadata forum

    Merging approaches to the standardization of metadata

    Due to a realization that a number of projects are currently addressing the issue of metadata standardization without coordination and because the benefits of working with standardized metadata, for example, the resulting option of reusing quality-assured data collection items, should be made known and accessible to as many researchers as possible, in the summer of 2011 the establishment of a forum called "Metadata and Linked Data" was proposed in the TMF and approved by the Board of Directors.

     

  12. Patients representatives forum

    Encouraging patients research activities

     

     

  13. Spokesperson forum

    Strategies and contacts for medical competence networks

    The role of medical competence networks is to establish vertical and horizontal structures in order to improve medical research and patient care in Germany. In the forum for spokespersons from the competence networks, joint strategies are developed to achieve just this and contacts are also established.

     

  14. Forum Health Care Research

    Framework conditions and infrastructures for health care research

     

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