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ADVANCE organised a Bootcamp in Leuven (Belgium) on January 24th-26th to discuss the sustainability of the project. During three days the ADVANCE Steering Committee, including Synapse members Eva Molero and Natasha Yefimenko, exchanged views and outlined a hub/platform model for the sustainability phase.

During the last day of the Bootcamp, Dr. Michel Goldman attended the bootcamp and provided insights on the strategy for the future of ADVANCE. This Bootcamp was a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and concerns about how public and private partners could interact and participate in a future sustainable framework for vaccine benefit-risk monitoring.

The ADVANCE project aims to review, develop and test methods, data sources, and procedures for the benefit-risk assessment of marketed vaccines. More info at ADVANCE.

Last Thursday Synapse´s CEO Eva Molero and Senior Project Manager Elena del Rey were invited to give a course to researchers and managers of the Andalusian Health Service on the success factors in obtaining funding for research projects in Horizon 2020 calls.

During this one-day practical workshop, Eva and Elena addressed key points in the preparation of a strong proposal. The attendees learnt about the life cycle of a H2020 project, the structure of the proposal, and discussed critical aspects related to the consortium and the workplan design. Eva and Elena also reviewed the legal aspects, risk management strategies, exploitation plan, sustainability and business models, with a focus on the challenges of planning and managing complex international distributed research and innovation projects in the health domain.

Eva explained that a good scientific idea is an essential pillar for any successful project, but having a good idea is not the same as to make it happen: “The tandem of solid scientific leadership and professional project management has shown to be the main driver for the projects, towards successful completion”.

Synapse regularly teaches courses on project management of European projects, organised by public and private institutions in several European countries.


The company’s annual retreat took place this year in Artchimboldi in Barcelona. The team was fully immersed in internal training sessions and strategic discussions. Eva Molero brought us back to 2008, when the company was created, and revisited the first IMI-JU projects that Synapse managed. Looking back over the past years, we discussed the future of the company and reflected on the strong position achieved in the management of ground-breaking biomedical projects, especially around the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

The training sessions were focused on analysis of best practices when it comes to the management of complex distributed project, and gold standards of project management. We agreed that excellence, quality, proficiency, commitment and good communication are the pillars of project management.

2018 will be a very special year, since Synapse will celebrate its 10th anniversary. This comes precisely in a year when IMI is also celebrating its first decade of existence. 2018 is coming full of interesting projects and opportunities, with many reasons to celebrate and many more to stay devoted, persistent and diligent.

Start the countdown!


On 5th and 6th of December 2017, Alzheimer Europe (AE) hosted its third annual Alzheimer’s Association Academy in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting was attended by nearly fifty organisations, including representatives from AE member organisations, expert speakers and company representatives.

For two days 15 experts in the field of AD research presented on various topics, divided into five sessions. We are proud that representatives from EPAD, ROADMAP and AMYPAD, all managed by Synapse, were invited as expert speakers to present their work and the current progress of the projects.

More about ROADMAP: 

More about EPAD:

More about AMYPAD:


The APM Project Manager Awards 2017 were held on the 20th November at Old Billingsgate, London. The awards recognize the very best the profession has to offer. The EPAD project (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium) was one of the six finalists in the “Social Project of the Year” category, and the only finalist among all category finalists, representing a research project in the medical field.

Sandra Pla from Synapse, with EPAD representatives from IQVIA and the University of Edinburg attended APM Awards evening. It is an enormous accomplishment for EPAD and Synapse to be one of the finalists since Synapse is responsible for the project management of this ambitious and ground-breaking research initiative in the field on Alzheimer. “We felt very proud to be able to present our project at such distinguished occasion” assures Sandra.

Synapse is member of the Association for Project Management.

More about the APM awards at:

More about the EPAD project at:


In the frame of our recently launched Social Programme, Synapse has sponsored the Enriqueta Villavecchia Private Foundation for Child Oncology. Last Friday we had the opportunity to meet the team and learn more about their activities. We could understand the impact that disease has, not only on the life of a child, but also on their families, and the difficulties they face every day. The involvement of the team in helping those children and their families is impressive, and the Enriqueta Villavecchia Foundation work is admirable and meritorious. We are proud to be able to support such an initiative.

The Foundation is providing integral care to children and youngsters suffering from cancer, including economic help for the families, accommodation and accompaniment, as well as organizing numerous leisure activities for children under treatment. Those activities are supported by their own network of volunteers, who are the key element of their foundation.  The Foundation also promotes training in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, by awarding scholarships to medical doctors specializing in this area.  Apart from scholarships for medical doctors, the Foundation is supporting research, awarding grants in the field of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology.

During our visit, we also talked about the importance of raising social awareness, not only about the effects and the difficulties of the disease, but about the importance of investing in research. The Foundation also has its annual activities for fundraising, such as beneficiary Christmas Market. More info on their programme and activities at:

More about our social programme at:



Company Statement
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Synapse has kicked-off its Social Programme as part of Synapse’s corporate social responsibility to support initiatives related with the citizen’s health care.

Synapse’s Social Programme has started funding two local initiatives:

  • ASIMAGA, a Spanish non-profit association created from the concern of families of children affected with the Cri du chat syndrome, which is considered a rare genetic disorder.
  • The Enriqueta Villavecchia Private Foundation for Child Oncology, a non-profit organization from Barcelona (Spain), which provides integral care for children and youngsters suffering from cancer and gives support to their families.

More info at: www.synapse/social-programme

Carlos Diaz, CEO of Synapse, and Dr. Montserrat Cases, Project Manager at Synapse, are co-authors of a Comment published in the prestigious scientific magazine Nature Reviews Drug Discovery that summarises the relevance of data sharing for improving the in silico prediction of organ toxicities in the drug development pipeline, the challenges faced and lessons learned during eTOX project. The eTOX project – Integrating bioinformatics and chemoinformatics approaches for the development of expert systems allowing the in silico prediction of toxicities- is an IMI project which run from January 2010 to December 2016.

Article: “Legacy data sharing to improve drug safety assessment: the eTOX project” Ferran Sanz, François Pognan, Thomas Steger-Hartmann, Carlos Díaz, eTOX, Montserrat Cases, et al. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2017. doi:10.1038/nrd.2017.177

More info:at: Nature Reviews|Drug Discovery

More about eTOX:

Synapse publications:

The APM Project Management Awards 2017, sponsored by RPC UK Ltd, recognises the achievements of the Project Management profession and rewards the work of young project managers and experienced professionals working in complex projects.

The EPAD project, in which Synapse is the Project Manager, is finalist in the Category of Social Project of the year. This category is for projects with the specific aim of developing solutions that deliver benefits to society- locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

The ceremony will be held on Monday 20th November 2017 at the Old Billingsgate in London. Sandra Pla will be attending on behalf of Synapse.

More info about IMI2 EPAD in:

More info about APM Project Management: