Journal of IiMER networking. Our choice of venue reflects our commitment to patients, families, carers, researchers and healthcare staff in providing the best venue for conducting this annual event - now #IIMEC12. Our Colloquium banner used the quote attributed to Henry Ford to describe the progress made – "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success" Our invited delegates (researchers from 14 countries around the world) embraced this theme. The BRMEC6 Colloquium was a pivotal point in the history of Invest in ME Research as it celebrated its 10th year as a charity. Because, coming from the meeting, one detected a palpable sense of research into ME really having become an international concern – endorsing Invest in ME Research’s strategy of international collaboration in research into ME. For 2017, IIMEC12 brings the best from the world’s Centres of Excellence for ME – now up and running as in the UK at Norwich Research Park or Australia, where the NCNED has been operating for some years, and in Norway and those being developed such as in USA. The charity’s commitment over 12 years to bringing the best research to the public and professionals has given biomedical research into ME a platform that allows researchers to overcome the bias and prejudice built up over the years by false views held by governments, research councils and establishment collaboratives that are more self-serving rather than interested in making progress. The Invest in ME Research conferences bring together this optimism and determination in a happy mixture of wanting, needing to learn, optimism and hope that things will improve. In June 2016, Invest in ME Research held its sixth Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium in London - BRMEC6. The Colloquium had as its theme international collaboration. Collaboration and working together can easily become just buzzwords – meaningless terms given out in press releases and handouts, attempting to make an impression that something is happening. Yet BRMEC6, and the following public IIMEC11 conference, really did validate our long held belief that international collaboration in biomedical research can lead to patients being given back their lives. We are hoping that BRMEC7 this year will produce a similar result. Last year was the first time that the Invest in ME Research conferences had a speaker from a government organisation. It was wonderful to have Dr Vicky Whittemore representing the National Institute of Health, opening both our BRMEC7 Colloquium and IIMEC12 Conference and showing NIH visibility for this disease, and endorsing this international collaboration as a critical means to an end. This year we are honoured also to welcome Dr Elizabeth R. Unger from the USA Centres for Disease Control. Dr Unger will be opening the Biomedical Research into ME 7 Colloquium 7. Also attending will be the Norwegian Health Council – appearing at both Colloquium and www.investinme.org Page 6 of 82

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