UB Philosopher Receives $535,000 Grant to Support Medical Informatics Research for European Union

Release Date: August 28, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Internationally distinguished ontologist Barry Smith, Julian Park Professor of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo, has received a $535,000 grant from the European Union's 6th Framework Programme on Research and Technological Development (FP6) to support his work in the field of medical informatics.

The European Union (EU) developed FP6 as a means to create a European Research Area, which will structure, coordinate and integrate research and innovative policies at a national and EU level, making it the research equivalent of Europe's "common market" for goods and services.

The grant is part of a $5.4 million FP6 grant for the EU's Network of Excellence in Medical Informatics, informatics being one of the seven research areas prioritized for funding by the program.

Among the members of this Network of Excellence is INFOMIS -- the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science, which is directed by Smith and located in the University of Leipzig School of Medicine in Germany.

INFOMIS is a center for research in theoretical and applied ontology. Its researchers from the fields of philosophy, computer and information science, medicine, logic and medical informatics are working to develop a formal ontology that will be applied and tested in the field of medical information science.

In 2001, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded Smith a $2 million Wolfgang Paul Award for his work in this field. It is the most valuable award in the academic history of Germany and believed to be the largest single prize ever awarded to a philosopher.

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