Organisation – European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network is a network of Ophthalmological Clinical Research Sites, dedicated to perform multinational clinical research in ophthalmology with the highest standards of quality, following the European and International Directives for Clinical Research according to harmonised SOPs in order to strengthen the capacity of the European Union to study the determinants of ophthalmic diseases and to develop and optimise the use of diagnostic, prevention and treatment strategies in ophthalmology. is an independent European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) established in 2010 in accordance with the Council Regulation (EEC) n.º 2137/85.


The is composed by the following bodies:

1. The General Assembly consists of all Members, at present, 91 Clinical Sites from 16 Countries. The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Network and is responsible for the governing statutes to regulate the day-to-day business.

2. The Steering Committee is responsible for the activities of the and acts as its decision-making body within the framework set by the General Assembly. The Steering Committee consists of up to eleven representatives: the Chairman, the Coordinator of each Expert Committee, the Coordinator of each Transversal Section and the CEO of the Management Board.

The present Steering Committee is constituted by the following members:

  • Hendrik Scholl, MD, MA, the Chairman and Retinal Dystrophies Expert Committee Coordinator
  • Francesco Bandello, MD, PhD, Age-Related Macular Degeneration Expert Committee Coordinator
  • José Cunha-Vaz, MD, PhD, Diabetic Retinopathy & Vascular Diseases Expert Committee Coordinator
  • Francesca Cordeiro, MD, PhD, Glaucoma Expert Committee Coordinator
  • Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD, Anterior Segment Expert Committee Coordinator
  • Robert Finger, MD, PhD, Ocular Surface, Inflammation, Dry-Eye & Allergies Expert Committee Coordinator
  • Birgit Lorenz, MD, PhD, Rare Diseases Transversal Section Coordinator
  • Tunde Peto, MD, PhD, FHCO, FHCD, Reading Centres Transversal Section Coordinator
  • Cecília Martinho, BSc, Coordinating Centre / Management Board CEO

3. The Coordinating Centre / Management Board is located at AIBILI, in Coimbra, Portugal. The Management Board functions, within the framework set by the Steering Committee, are:

A. General management activities:

    • Prepare the Network and annual budget
    • Provide infrastructural support to the Chairman and Expert Committees
    • Coordinate activities with the Steering Committee and any other Committees
    • Prepare summaries of committees conference calls and meetings
    • Preparation and submission of proposals for EU funding
    • Represent the Network with Regulatory Agencies such as EMA
    • Promotion (newsletter, website, etc.)

B. Management of Members:

    • Application of new members
    • Certification of Clinical Sites
    • Re-certification of Clinical Sites
    • SOP Management (Organizational, Technical and Reading Centres SOPs)

C. Management activities directly related to Clinical Trials:

    • Coordinate the submission of abstracts or potential Investigator Initiated Research (IIR) according to internal procedures
    • Preparation and submission of multinational Investigator Initiated Research (IIR) for Industry grants or for EU funding
    • Assist the Clinical Sites in achieving high recruitment rates and maintain high rates of patients retention
    • Coordination and management of Investigator Initiated Research (IIR)

4. The Expert Committees have a fundamental role in the scientific organization of and cover the following main areas of research:

    • Age-Related Macular Degeneration – Coordinator: Francesco Bandello
    • Retinal Dystrophies – Coordinator: Hendrik Scholl
    • Diabetic Retinopathy & Vascular Diseases – Coordinator: José Cunha-Vaz
    • Glaucoma – Coordinator: Francesca Cordeiro
    • Anterior Segment – Coordinator: Marie-José Tassignon
    • Ocular Surface, Inflammation, Dry-Eye & Allergies – Coordinator: Robert Finger

There are also the following Transversal Sections that work together with the Expert Committees, when applicable:

    • Rare Diseases – Coordinator: Birgit Lorenz
    • Reading Centres – Coordinator: Tunde Peto

The Expert Committee and the Transversal Sections will advise the Steering Committee on matters related to the running of clinical research in their scientific area.

The Expert Committees functions are:

    • Prepare expert advice for Industry
    • Evaluate IIR submitted by Members
    • Propose Clinical Trials to Industry or for European Union funding
    • Evaluate potential for a specific trial
    • Establish Working Groups for:
      • Writing Committees
      • Proposals Evaluation
      • Development of technical SOPs
      • Certification of technicians
      • Educational and training activities
      • Development of databases

5. Each Expert Committee supervises a Scientific Section with the participation of the subspecialty representatives from each Clinical Site Member. Each Clinical Site will then nominate one representative for each area of interest and expertise. This representative will be part of the chosen Scientific Section.

6. The Industry Advisory Board advises the Steering Committee in all matters of strategic relevance, particularly pertaining collaborations with Industry. The Industry Advisory Board is composed of individuals or representatives of entities who have given support for the activities of, by invitation of the Steering Committee.

The Industry Advisory Board Members are: Alcon, Allergan, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Novartis, Santen, Théa and Roche.