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Reminiscences of the retiring (Co-)Editor-in-Chief

Some 40 years ago, the European Union supported a number of research programmes under the title of ‘Concerted Actions’. These programmes were aimed at strengthening international research collaboration. The main issues were the support of research stays, in particular of young researchers, and the organisation of conferences.

One of these Concerted Actions was devoted to Biomedical Engineering. The development of novel biomedical technologies in close collaboration with medical research and clinical practice was thereby in the foreground. The chairman of the international committee associated with this Concerted Action was Jan Beneken (Eindhoven). His idea of promoting and funding – according to his own words – the “overlapping areas between biomedical engineering and medicine” was consequently followed under his leadership. Although not a member of the EU, I served as the representative of Switzerland in this Committee, as Switzerland was integrated at that time in this programme.

By the end of the Concerted Action programmes, Jan Beneken opened a discussion with respect to the creation of a new journal. On the one hand, various Biomedical Engineering as well as numerous medical journals existed, however no journal was available in his view that was primarily and exclusively devoted to the ‘overlapping areas’ mentioned above. After a planning and negotiation phase, Technology and Health Care was created, first published with Elsevier, shortly thereafter with IOS Press. The requirement for manuscripts to be accepted, i.e., the application of novel biomedical technology in medical research and clinical practice demonstrating close cooperation between engineers, mathematicians, physicists, IT specialists on the one hand and persons involved in medical research and clinical practice, as well as in health care in general on the other, has always been maintained. The yellow intersection between the blue and black squares, as seen on the cover of the printed issues (designed by Jan Beneken’s wife), is intended to symbolize the ‘overlapping areas’.

The cooperation with IOS Press has been most gratifying and uncomplicated through all the years. I express my sincere gratitude in particular to Dr. Einar Fredriksson, founder and director of IOS Press, Marion Lilley, Axana Scherbeijn, as well as to the entire staff of IOS Press.

Peter Niederer