AIMBE’s Council of Societies: A Collective Voice for Action
As AIMBE’s mechanism to coordinate and enhance interaction among 16 scientific organizations in medical and biological engineering, the Council of Societies:
- Provides a collaborative forum for the establishment of society member positions on issues affecting the field of medical and biological engineering;
- Fosters intersociety dialogue and cooperation, providing a cohesive public representation for medical and biological engineering, and;
- Provides a way to coordinate activities of member societies with the activities of academia, government, the health care sector, industry and the public and private biomedical communities.
The challenges facing medical and biological engineering grow more complex each year. The Council of Societies meets these challenges by assuring that resources from throughout the field – particularly the scientific and management talents of key individuals – are brought together most efficiently in pursuit of critical common goals. The Council, in fact, helps to set those goals by identifying and assessing important issues from within their own membership.
In recent years, the efforts of Council of Societies members have helped AIMBE:
- Assume a leading role in the formation, in 2000, of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB);
- Lead advocacy on behalf of The FDA Modernization Act of 1997;
- Press for passage of the Biomaterials Access Assurance Act of 1998; and
- Advocate creation of the National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Consortium (BECON).
Over the past year, Council of Societies members have represented AIMBE in policy-oriented discussions key with officials of:
- National Science Foundation;
- National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering;
- Food and Drug Administration;
- Medical Technology Leadership Caucus;
- House of Representatives Appropriations Committee; and
- Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Significantly, since its formation in 1991 the Council of Societies has limited itself to holding forums and conferences on policy matters. The Council of Societies is not involved in any technical conferences, production of journals or other activities that could be viewed as competition with the member organizations.
Membership representation and dues for Council members are based on the size of the individual member society.
The Council of Societies meets each winter at AIMBE’s Annual Event; however other meetings may be planned throughout the year at the discretion of the membership. Major initiatives undertaken at recent Annual Events have included the formulation of committees to address national workforce initiatives, implementing national innovation agendas, developing consensus statements regarding federal research funding levels and assessing the future of bioengineering through analyzing its economic impact.
The Council of Societies and its mission are designed to evolve over time, adjusting to the needs and interests of AIMBE members, and to challenges and changes at all levels in the world of bioengineering.