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Calls for global resveratrol council gain pace at international conference

By Nathan Gray+

06-Dec-2012

A new international council for resveratrol could soon help to co-ordinate and communicate global research projects involving both industry and leading academic experts in the area, according to experts at the Reveratrol 2012 conference.

Any such global association would mean closer collaboration between universities and the industry, in addition to the creation of new global standards for product quality, according to many players attending the 2nd International Conference of Resveratrol and Health (Resveratrol 2012) in the UK.

Speaking with NutraIngredients at the conference, independent consultant Sami Sassi of CIL North – part of a small team involved in the initial set up of the Council – said calls for such a council have grown in recent years, with both industry and academia realising the need for a global communication and research platform.

“We feel we need to increase the cooperative activities around resveratrol and to increase the focus on all levels to this molecule,” said Sassi. “The task now is to use this second conference to start talking about a resveratrol Council.”

“It’s not going to be a trade association,” he added. “It’s going to be a place where both the academics and the industry can be together – we will have the main universities and the industry.”

“We want to bring the academics and the industry closer together, because at the end of the day they both have the same purpose and that is to serve to general public.”

Industry involvement

Although formal plans for the Council are in the early stages, the general feeling among many experts and industry members is that there is a strong need for such a platform, Sassi told us.

“At the conference we have DSM, Evolva, Biotivia, Shaklee, and all four have said that this is something that is needed,” he confirmed.

“We already have the conferences every two years that bring together the industry and academics, and it works well for them to work together,” he said. “We want to have something that keeps this activity up between the conferences.”

“Right now we are in fifth gear because we are at the conference but for the in between it slows right down. It would be nice to keep this work at a higher level all of the time.”

Key tasks

One of the key tasks of the Council will be to act as a research forum between academic experts and the industry, however Sassi said that global association would also work to communicate research on the benefits of resveratrol to a wider audience.

“The Council would be the primary source for the latest news and research in resveratrol,” he said. “It would actively support industry and academics working together with resveratrol globally,”

Writing in the programme for the conference, Sassi outlined the key tasks planned for the Council to be:

  • to facilitate collaboration projects – especially planning big clinical studies,
  • to create a new forum for interested parties to meet and speak on,
  • to organise conferences – such as Resveratrol 2012,
  • to work regional and national legislative bodies,
  • to increase the focus on product quality.

Sassi said the ‘major hurdle’ for the organising group now is money: “We need to work out the financing,” he said. “We are trying to put some kind of business case together with respect to these costs.”

The independent industry consultant said that because of this, the planned council would begin ‘very lightly’ and ‘at a low level’ with all activities done on a part time basis via a board of directors.

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