ICIN - The Netherlands Heart Institute
The Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands (ICIN) is a unique cooperation between the cardiology departments of all eight university hospitals in the Netherlands. ICIN was founded in 1972 by professor Dirk Durrer (1918-1984), at that time one of the most prominent cardiologists in the Netherlands and scientist of world fame. The aim of the cooperation is to share knowledge as well as infrastructure and to create added value for both researchers and patients with cardiovascular disease. Over the years, ICIN started conducting clinical studies in addition to basic scientific research. Also for clinical studies the cooperation proved essential.
Cardiovascular disease in numbers
In the Netherlands cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death. In 2006, 31% of all deaths, in total 41,720, were caused by cardiovascular disease. Damage to the Dutch economy resulting from cardiovascular disease is € 6.7 billion.
ICIN in numbers
Through the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), ICIN receives € 2 million of public money annually. By using these funds as a catalyst, ICIN manages to raise an additional € 5 million annually.
Currently, ICIN manages some 70 research projects with a total value of € 32 million. Most projects run for three to four years.
In 2007 ICIN scientists published 273 articles in renowned, peer-reviewed international journals. Twenty researchers were awarded a doctoral degree in the same year.
Professors W.H. van Gilst and E.E. van der Wall are the directors of ICIN. In the central office in Utrecht, seven employees support the directors and researchers. ICIN employs ninety researchers that work in academic hospitals throughout the country.
ICIN appoints researchers who do ground breaking work as ICIN Professors. ICIN Professors are appointed for a maximum of ten years.
The Scientific Council advises the management on the research carried out by ICIN. The Scientific Council consists of the management, heads of the eight university cardiology departments, the ICIN Professors and the managers of the largest projects.
In addition to research in the Netherlands, ICIN also finances two to four fellowships annually which supports post-doctoral positions in foreign research institutions. The fellowships provide young, talented researchers with the opportunity to work and study abroad for one year.
The Einthoven Dissertation prize
In cooperation with the Netherlands Society of Cardiology, the ICIN awards the Einthoven Dissertation Prize to the three best theses on cardiovascular disease. The Prize was named after the Dutch Nobel prize winner Willem Einthoven who invented the electrocardiogram.
In 2005, an international scientific committee evaluated research progress of the ICIN. The committee found that: "The research, performed and adopted by ICIN in the years 1998-2004, has been of excellent quality and has contributed significantly to the high international reputation of cardiovascular research in the Netherlands."