The basic idea for the foundation of PER was and is to combine the efforts of the five involved IADR Divisions in order to
1. Provide a larger platform (critical mass) for presentation, discussion and dissemination of new scientific information.
In a world of increasingly specialized research topics, annual scientific meetings of research organizations such as the IADR Divisions need a certain size (e.g. in terms of number of attendants, geographical distribution or representation of different scientific topics), in order to bring together enough people in groups for critical discussion. While Divisional meetings have a tradition and can serve many of these functions, PER provides a much broader basis with it’s over 2000 members and recent annual meetings with more than 1000 attendants. On the other side, PER meetings are held within the area of the five IADR Divisions and thus travel and other costs etc. to attend such meetings are in many cases much lower than attending world congresses elsewhere.
2. Improve the cooperation across country borders and across the borderlines of the traditional five IADR Divisions.
Cooperation is one of the fundamentals of modern research and scientific meetings like the one of the IADR Divisions are often a place to initiate/start/continue such cooperation. Therefore, meetings with a larger platform offer more opportunities for finding partners or to be addressed by potential partners.
3. Improve the presence in the science policy field in the European Union in order to bring the topic of Oral Health onto the political Agenda.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly 80 billion € of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The European Research Council (ERC) was established in 2007 to support such activities. Although large amounts of funding are available, there is a high competition between the different fields (about 10% acceptance rate). Therefore, it is important that there is a voice advocating for Oral Health in the European arena. PER has so far been involved in two organizations that aim to improve the awareness of European decision makers on research in general and on Oral Health.
1. Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE)
As a member of ISE we take part in a coordinated effort to defend research funding in Europe and to remove legal and administrative constraints for research. We are updated on background information/analysis in research policy. We take part in meetings and workshops on various topics in science policy organized by ISE. We gain direct access to policy makers and we receive advice on the advocacy strategy. We represent Oral Health within ISE to ensure that the specific situation of Oral Health will be taken into account in initiatives and recommendations to policy makers. We also can send speakers and participants to ISE organized policy events.
2. Platform for Better Oral Health
As a member of this platform, we share the 2020 Vision to promote initiatives and share guidance that will help Europeans to improve their oral health, leading to better general health and overall quality of life. We join forces to have integrated Oral Health into European general health policies and to have established a Joint Action on Oral Health, which will provide guidelines and best practice solutions for implementation at an EU level.