5 Things We Liked about May

This is the first in a series of posts in which we share with you some of the things we have particularly enjoyed during the last month. It could be anything from a great event to an insightful tweet. What better month to kick things off than sunny (could somebody let Brussels know?!) May?

Here is our 5 (in no particular order):

1. POLL: Innobarometer sheds light on innovation across Europe

The European Commission published its annual Innobarometer, an opinion poll of attitudes and activities related to European industrial innovation. The 2013 Innobarometer survey, covering around 8,500 businesses, was more specifically designed to explore the link between companies' innovation projects and their investment in a range of intangible assets like training, software development, reputation, branding and Research & Development amongst others.

These 'intangibles' are increasingly recognised as playing an important role in the growth of developed economies, although - up to now - their impact has been difficult to quantify.

For more on the Innobarometer as well as detailed 2013 results, see here.

2. EVENT: eHealth Week encourages European investment in health tech

On 13-15 May, Dublin played host to the European Commission and Irish Presidency designated eHealth Week 2013. The 3-day event brought together industry partners and providers, as well as important government and regional decision-makers from across Europe. Its aim was to encourage the continuous investment in health IT worldwide not only to improve patient care but also to get a handle on rising medical costs.

Over 2,500 international delegates joined High-Level European Ministers and EU Commissioners, like Vice-President Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda for Europe) and Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn (Research, Innovation and Science) for the EU's annual flagship eHealth event.

The many varied events and intensive engagement served to give this broad eMovement some much needed traction. For more information on Europe's eHealth activities, see here.

3. EVENT: Brain research at the forefront of our minds

Brain-related disorders will affect at least one in three of us during our lifetime and treating these disorders currently costs the EU some €800 billion per year. Advances in neuroscience are therefore crucial to keeping Europe's people and economies healthy. That's why the European Commission picked May as European Month of the Brain, packing it full of activities to increase awareness of the importance of brain research and healthcare matters.

A full range of events took place throughout the month, with two flagship conferences held in Brussels and Dublin. It served as a timely opportunity to not only show off the fruits of Europe's labours but also to push for an increase in the amount of resources being dedicated to brain research both within European Union countries and beyond. Of course, Lilly was fully behind this month-long initiative. Brain research is a priority for us in Europe and our UK-based research site at Erl Wood is a leading European neuroscience research hub. Our scientists there are working towards therapies for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and sleep disorders.

For more information on what can be summed up as a successful European #brainmonth, see here. Perhaps the key take-away is that there remains much work to be done to understand and treat the brain.

4. INFOGRAPHIC: How the new commissioner will get appointed

This month, we loved this European Parliament infographic. The process of selecting and approving a commissioner is far from straight-forward, particularly if you're unfamiliar with EU-speak, but this infographic explains all you need to know about the process from start to finish in a really clear way.

At Lilly we are pretty partial to an infographic. Check out our range here for all the information you'll need on the work we're doing in Europe.

5. REPORT: Exploring the link between health and wealth in government decision making

Traditionally, decision-makers both within and outside the health sector have thought of the value of health interventions primarily in terms of reduced morbidity or mortality. Healthcare, however, produces wealth effects outside the health care sector - for example, improvement in labour productivity for patients and caregivers, cost savings in health and social care and other sectors, and an increase in national income. These wealth effects are perhaps too often overlooked.

This was the message within the Office of Health Economics' fascinating Lilly-sponsored research paper, Is the link between health and wealth considered in decision making? Results from a qualitative study - our fifth and final thing we liked this month of May.

That's our 5. Let us know what you liked about May on Twitter, @LillyPadEU.