This year we again have representatives from both the USA National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) attending our Colloquium and Conference - endorsing our view of international collaboration as a critical means to an end. We can also see some of the spin-offs that have occurred due to our Colloquium taking place - either research projects, collaboration in planning projects or in other events taking place. Both the Colloquium and Conference are high quality, forward-looking events that serve to improve knowledge of this disease and generate and improve international collaboration into ME. As always the charity takes on the task of producing a high-quality DVD of the conference with all of the presentations included. This serves as a historical record and is an educational tool for doctors and clinicians - demonstrating the seriousness of this disease. For 2017, our conference DVD reached even more countries and allowed us to inform a wider audience. Yet how do we speed up research and move the direction away from the flawed approach to ME research that has been the strategy of establishment organisations that have not responded to the needs of patients? The strategy that Invest in ME Research has created is to develop a Centre of Excellence for ME based on highquality biomedical research and international collaboration. There are now four PhD students performing biomedical research into ME at the Norwich Research Park, where the hub for the UK Centre of Excellence for ME is proposed. The charity continues to fund research at UCL also by supporting the remainder of another PhD studentship there. The charity is doing more than most to provide a sound foundation for research into ME and spends more, proportionately, of its income on biomedical research and associated activities than any other UK charity. The Invest in ME Research strategy of bringing in researchers from other fields to help and improve biomedical research into ME is working. Our conferences bring together patients, researchers, clinicians and healthcare staff and allow knowledge and Page 4 of 56 www.investinme.org experiences to be shared – and IIMEC13 and BRMEC8 will see us entering our thirteenth year in doing this. Our BRMEC8 is again a two-day event with biomedical researchers invited from around the world. This year will be the biggest yet with almost 100 top biomedical researchers participating from over a dozen countries. The IIMEC13 Conference allows researchers, clinicians and patient/ groups/patients and carers to mix with each other, discuss together and network with unique opportunities – all enabling a greater understanding of this disease. In order to bring the best education and research to London each year we welcome all support for these events as there are significant costs involved in achieving this. We are therefore extremely grateful to our friends and supporters who have helped us via online donations. We also wish to thank our sponsors for IIMEC13. The Irish ME Trust A word of thanks to the Irish ME Trust who, yet again, will be sponsoring one of the speakers to the conference. IMET have been a constant friend and supporter of IiMER, and of ME patients. They have been a leading member in the European ME Alliance. The Irish ME Trust has sponsored a speaker at all of our conferences and we would like to thank them for their continued support. Norges ME Forening Norway's ME Association (Norges ME Forening) is sponsoring the IIMEC13 conference. Norges ME Forening has been a long-standing supporter of IiMER we are very grateful for this kind donation. Thank you NMEF. Invest in ME research (Charity Nr. 1153730)

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