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3-5th February, 2020

Kickoff Meeting

Last February 3-5th, SMA-TB Project was launched. SMA-TB General Assembly, Scientific and Ethical Advisory Boards met together in Barcelona. IGTP, the project coordinator, organised KOM in the Cultural Centre of the Casa-Palau Macaya, an architectural treasure of Catalan Modernism, thanks to the hospitality and collaboration of ”la Caixa” Foundation.

All partners discussed the details of the implementation of their work plans, for the following four and a half years of the Clinical Trial, campaigns and researching. The European H2020 project SMA-TB looks for establishing long term relevance and a legacy beyond the formal funded stage, and to cultivate a strong relationship with stakeholder groups is essential for this. Thus, Scientific and Ethical Advisory Boards are involved in the project since the very beginning, and so have participated in the KOM. Also, the coordinator of DRTB-HDT H2020 Project, Dr. Robert Wallis from The Aurum Institute in South Africa has been invited.

In this way, SMA-TB KOM offered a perfect framework to discuss in detail the project’s implementation roadmap with all stakeholders. In particular, all the practical issues concerning SMA-TB CTs were agreed, synergies between different methods for studies of pathogens and host factors were discussed in relation to clinical validation of relevant biomarkers and tests and the initial approach to patient stratification methodology was presented.

On the other hand, the first draft of Communication and Dissemination Plan was introduced and discussed, Project Management tools and procedures were explained and agreed. Ethical issues were approached in twofold way, focusing on general ethical aspects of the project’s execution and specific ethical matters of the SMA-TB Clinical Trial.

During the second day of KOM, the Design Thinking Workshop focused on Emotional Burden of TB Disease was organised. The workshop, conducted by Prof. Miguel Ángel Heras, from ESADE Business School, was a perfect mean to approach the TB emotional burden problem in a holistic way, following the so-called “5-whys” methodology, and provided very interesting ideas which might be further exploited in SMA-TB communication and dissemination activities. Moreover, it resulted in an excellent team-building tool and served as training for this methodology used in innovation activities.

SMA-TB coordinator, IGTP, thanks all participants for their very active discussions and contributions to fruitful KOM, and “la Caixa” Foundation for its collaboration.

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