The International Research Consortium (IRC) of the "Global Strategic Alliances for the Coordination of Research on the Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonozes (STAR-IDAZ) was formed in the summer 2016 to coordinate and harmonize research at the International level and to identify existing gaps in the existing knowledge. The STAR-IDAZ IRC activities aim to contribute to new and approved animal health strategies for at least 30 priority diseases/infections/issues through action conducted by 14 thematic working groups.
The STAR-IDAZ IRC members include research funders, programme owners and international representation of veterinary research, pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies from Europe, Asia, Australasia, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. The Kimron Veterinary Institute, Bet Dagan, Israel, is a Star-IDAZ IRC member Institute.
The STAR-IDAZ IRC activities are conducted via two interacting bodies: (a) the Executive Committee, formed of members at high level management of the participating veterinary entities, and (b) the Scientific Committee (SC), formed of 15 experts from academia, animal health industry and from risk assessment and regulatory bodies. The SC acts as a scientific coordinating body by means of 14 working groups. The STAR-IDAZ SC mission includes creation of roadmaps to reach STAR-IDAZ IRC goals and promotes interactions between the Working Groups.
Dr. Michel Bellaiche, Director of the Israeli Veterinary Services, was elected as a member of the STAR-IDAZ Executive Committee and Dr. Irit Davidson, senior researcher from the Kimron Veterinary Institute was elected as a member of the Scientific Committee, heading the working group on Diagnosis.
The STAR-IDAZ IRC conducts bi-annual meetings, first being held at the International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya on 31 January – 1 February, 2017, and second in Copenhagen on 15-16 June 2017. The Kimron Veterinary Institute, Bet Dagan, Israel (KVI), was pleased to host the third meeting on 19-20 February, 2018, consisting of 19 participants from various countries. Hosting this prestigious forum in Israel consists a great honor to the Israel Ministry of Agriculture, the Veterinary Services and KVI, and reflects the International professional appreciation to our activities. Following a two-day fruitful professional discussions, and a short visit to the various KVI divisions to get acquainted to the activities and the personnel involved, the STAR-IDAZ forum conducted a half day guided tour in Jerusalem. The professional and the administrative KVI personnel, headed by the KVI Director, Dr. Michael Bernshtein, are deeply acknowledged for the intensive support that enabled the STAR-IDAZ IRC meeting In Israel.
On the next day of the participants return home we received from all participants, each in particular, very enthusiastic and heartwarming mails about the various aspects of the meeting, including professional, hosting and their Israel experience.