NUM vision and mission

In the future, the Network of University Medicine (NUM) would like to support all research activities that fit its overarching strategic goals:

  • Establish a nationwide, comprehensive study and data space for clinical research that includes data from routine patient care documentation as well as additional data collected, for example, in prospective clinical and clinical-epidemiological studies
  • Prepare the biomedical research landscape for future pandemics and other major public health crises
  • Create a central point of contact for clinical research at a national level that provides stakeholders with fast and efficient access to all academic medical centres in Germany

In contrast to other clinical research networks that focus on specific disease patterns or organ systems (e.g. German Centres for Health Research), the NUM covers the entire spectrum of medical disciplines and diseases across all university hospitals. In this way, the NUM aims to complement other networks and build on existing research projects, research infrastructures and established structures.

The research activities funded by the NUM to date can be divided into two categories:

  • Research and data infrastructures: Development and provision of interoperable and widely accessible management, method and data platforms to support the design and implementation of collaborative research projects at national level.
  • Research projects ("use cases"): Design and implementation of joint multi-centre research projects that generally use and further develop NUM research infrastructures.

The strong focus on research infrastructures is an essential part of the NUM mission. They were developed at the NUM at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as there was a lack of suitable research infrastructures in Germany for the joint collection and use of standardised data and biosamples. These infrastructures are now the backbone of the NUM's research activities and are continuously being improved in order to best meet the needs of scientists and to be as easily accessible and usable as possible. These infrastructures create new opportunities for working on major research questions that could not otherwise be adequately addressed in Germany. In view of the enormous untapped potential of clinical research data and biosamples, the NUM will continue to develop its research infrastructures. In particular, the various NUM infrastructures must be linked even better with each other and also with data sources external to the NUM.

For this reason, the following 10-year vision and the associated mission statement for the research infrastructure at NUM were developed in 2023:

NUM vision

“The NUM represents the preeminent national research infrastructure with demand-ori-ented solutions for practice-changing health research. This research infrastructure creates optimal conditions for researchers, strengthens responsiveness and enables co-ordinated action."

NUM mission

"We operate a transparent, user-friendly and scalable infrastructure that is founded on trust-based collaboration and interdisciplinary expertise and provides researchers with the best possible support for multi-centre collaborative projects along the whole research process.

To this end, we provide researchers with a comprehensive portfolio of instruments and services to collect high-quality research data and biosamples. We make these available to the scientific community based on the FAIR principles as well as legal, organizational and technical standardization and harmonization. This enables us to gain scientific knowledge that leads to improved prevention and treatment of diseases and thus con-tributes to people's health."