OPEN assists health researchers in the Region of Southern Denmark with collection of data, biobank, register-related data and formalities regarding their research project.
What is OPEN's mission?
It is a research infrastructure with a mission to increase and strengthen clinical research at the Region of Southern Denmark and Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark. OPEN helps scientists to initiate clinical trials making it easier to collect and store biological samples and clinical data. Moreover, OPEN facilitates data-based research on the cohorts. OPEN was established as part of OUHs research strategy for 2007-2012. The strategy was implemented with a research fund from which DKK 2 million was marked for the purpose of OPEN. Since then the grant has increased to DKK 4 million and the strengthening of OPEN is also part of OUHs new research strategy for 2016-2020. The research strategy as well as OPEN has been implemented in close collaboration with Institute of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark. From the 1st of January 2018 OPEN is accessible for health researchers at the regional hospital units: Littlebelt Hospital, South-West Jutland Hospital, South Jutland Hospital incl. Kong Christian X’s Hospital (Hospital of Rheumatology) and the Hospital of Psychiatry.
Clinical research is essential for medical progress and for the Region of Southern Denmark as a provider of highly specialized care. Clinical research is very time consuming and expensive. It is not uncommon that an individual research project spans several years and costs several million euro. Traditionally, clinical research is often initiated by a single research group and the study is usually designed to answer precisely the questions that the research group is interested in. The novelty of OPEN is to invite other research groups to join the project in the initial phase or later and in this way to enrich the cohort by asking other scientific questions than those initially thought of. This may often be achieved simply by adding a few extra tests to the protocol, and thus increasing the scientific value of the cohort significantly without costing much. Also, OPEN adds value to research by facilitating register-based data supplement to the cohorts. Furthermore, OPEN offers advice to researchers at all stages of the research process and supports linkage of external register data, studies based on questionnaires and offers to randomize human subjects. Via the Internet, OPEN invites researchers from around the world to collaborate with researchers at the hospitals of the Region of Southern Denmark, OUH and SDU managing individual cohorts. Transparency is the central value-adding factor in the OPEN philosophy and this is why the English acronym is: OPEN. Thereby, the visions of OPEN are:
- OPEN offers precisely the support needed for the researcher to succeed with his/her project
- OPEN facilitates research with a minimum of bureaucracy
- OPEN promotes research by making research visible
- OPEN performs research by building register-based resources
OPEN is headed by a steering committee consisting of thirteen individuals representing OUH’s Board of Directors, Clinical Institute and various clinical and laboratory departments from the Region of Southern Denmark. The daily manager is Professor Torben Barington, Department of Clinical Immunology. OPEN's team of employees and partners consists of Professors, Clinical Professors, Associate Clinical Professor, Post.Doc./Project Administrator, Biomedical Laboratory Technologists, Data Managers and Research Secretary/Project Administrator.
OPEN was officially inaugurated on 29 September 2008 and the first OPEN projects went live immediately after.