Research to Prevent Blindness hosted a convening of nearly two dozen organizations committed to the advancement of eye research, on September 17, 2014, in Washington, DC, to discuss vision research funding and a role for funder collaboration in preventing, treating, and curing vision disorders. The historic meeting was an important first step toward collaborations.
Taking into account organizations' unique priorities, the participants acknowledged that a collective effort based on shared interests could impact vision research and outcomes for patients. Consensus began to build in several areas, including:
advancing the public health agenda, to address vision problems of the aging US population;
encouraging funder partnerships (private/private; public/private), to leverage resources and enable research that no single funder could undertake alone;
coordinating information, for the benefit of vision research funders and fundees;
coordinating and supporting advocacy, to raise the profile of vision research, increase federal funding for eye research, and drive education of policymakers and the public (federal funding is a far greater resource than all private funding taken en masse); and
supporting interdisciplinary research from within and outside vision research, to promote and accelerate innovation.
The convening ended with an expressed interest in exploring collaborative potential. The group committed to envisioning a set of actionable steps for discussion at a 2015 follow‐on meeting to coincide with advocacy events in Washington, DC.