The general governance model is shown in the figure. For coordination and guidance of all strategic and scientific issues of this CPA, a steering committee (SC) is established that consists of each a scientist representative of the partner institutes and one representative of the Management Board Health (MBH), currently 6 members. The SC calls and implements the thematic working groups (TWGs), organizes regular workshops and other communication activities, promotes collaborative projects between partner institutes, etc. It reports to the MBH on its activities. Costs for coordination activities such as website, meetings, database etc. are funded with 100.000 € per annum and are provided by the coordinating centre HZI. The first workshop was held in September 2012 in Basel as a user group meeting at the MipTec fair with an open session well attended by representatives from pharmaceutical industry.

TWGs are the core instruments of the Portfolio Topic Initiative and will be also for the CPA to foster scientific exchange between the centres. TWGs are established to discuss, plan and work on innovative and challenging cross-centre and cross-program topics. They call for, evaluate, identify and chaperone projects at the partner sites in areas of high interest and technical challenge. TWGs are, thus, formed by the expert scientists at the partner sites that are themselves involved in the drug research projects and exchange their respective expertise and experiences. TWGs report to the SC on their meetings and activities. Currently nine TWGs have been established (coordinators are listed in brackets):

  • Protein-Protein-Interactions (Enno Klussmann, MDC)
  • Ubiquitin (and -analogous) Protein Modifying Systems (Thomas Sommer, MDC)
  • Phosphatases (Jens von Kries, FMP & W. Birchmeier, MDC)
  • Regulators for Gene Expression (Frank Lyko, DKFZ)
  • Structure-based Rational Drug Development (Michael Sattler, HMGU)
  • Innovative Chemical Diversity (Ronald Frank, HZI/HIPS)
  • High Content Screens & Target Identification (Eugenio Fava, DZNE)
  • Preclinical Evaluation Platform for Drug Candidates (Andreas Bauer, FZJ)
  • Database & Cheminformatics (Ronald Kühne, FMP)

Key for effective cooperation is communication. A web-based communication network will support the exchange of information of the CPA distributed technology platform. This includes also development and maintenance of soft- and hardware for the joint knowledge database.

An external advisory board is foreseen to involve important stakeholders such as universities, ministries, pharmaceutical industry etc. The IP management board with delegates from the involved IP asset management organizations is formed to monitor and support issues of intellectual property. To foster translation, a searchable web-platform “Helmholtz-Drug-Marketplace” will inform about the portfolio and progress of the CPA projects. A general umbrella cooperation agreement was signed by all centres and partner institutes. For individual cross-centre projects, separate collaboration agreements will be negotiated.