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16 July 2020

Stop Stigma – the second edition of the Brain Mind and Pain (BMP) grant

Brain Mind and Pain grant 2020/21

Scientist, Innovator, BMP, Brain Mind and Pain
The Brain Mind and Pain (BMP) grant supports innovation in pain research and management. It is the first pan-European grant that selects applications based on how patient-centred they are. On 24 June, the winners of the second edition of the BMP were announced.

At Grünenthal, we put patients at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we’re proud to support the Brain Mind and Pain (BMP) research grant, which supports innovation in pain research and management. The successful applications are selected based on how patient-centred they are. On 24 June 2020, Pain Alliance Europe hosted a virtual ceremony where each of the eleven submitted projects shared insights into their research, before this year's winners were announced. The progress and success of the previous winning projects were also recognised.

Three projects received support from the 2018/2019 edition of the Brain Mind and Pain grant, which focused on “Overcoming problems in access to treatments”. Representatives from each of these three projects presented the progress they made last year and shared insights into the benefits that they’ve created for patients as part of the Brain Mind and Pain grant’s unique focus on patient-centred funding.

MyBrainNet was one of these projects. It offers a diary platform for Neurological Brain Diseases and was developed by Dystonia Europe. The platform generates valuable information that can be used for various research projects, and also supports better understanding of the socio-economic effects of living with a brain disease in Europe. It will be launched in September 2020. Master your pain, another project that received a grant from the 2018/2019 edition of the Brain Mind and Pain grant, aims to improve access to personalised psychosocial treatment of pain caused by rheumatic diseases. It is driven by Groningen University (Netherlands), and the team has developed the eHealth system, which offers personalised self-help for patients with unexplained physical symptoms. Through the BMP grant, the study team was able to explore the potential of the system for patients with pain caused by inflammatory rheumatism. The third project that received a grant was Reduce Sensorial Pain, or stress in Autism Spectrum Disorder driven by the ASPERGA Association. It developed a tool that allows patients to decrease limitations caused by sensory abnormalities.

“Applications for the BMP Grant must be innovative and patient-centred and face patient association’s most challenging topics.”

Joop van Griensven,

President Pain Alliance Europe

This year, a total of 11 applications competed for funding under the grant’s motto "Stop Stigma", which acknowledges one of the most significant aspects related to pain conditions and adequate access to pain care. The applications were assessed by a jury composed of patients and patient representatives, with support from scientific experts. All of the projects impressed the jury with their approaches, innovative power and potential. In the end, three projects were chosen to receive funding from the Brain Mind and Pain grant 2020/21. We congratulate:

  1. ASpida: Against Stigma pain intervention development approach (ASpida) is driven by Vasilis Vasiliou from the School of Applied Psychology at the University College Cork, Ireland. It is an innovative, patient-led intervention approach that aims to stop stigma for individuals with chronic pain.
  2. StigmApp: This innovative mobile health (mHealth) application is driven by Yiannis Koumpouros from the University of West Attica, Greece. It features a user-centred design that will help to fight stigma associated with pain or neurological conditions.
  3. #RompeConElDolor: This project’s name translates as “break free from pain”. It is driven by Irune Elosegui from the Spanish Federación Española de Diabetes (FEDE). It aims to break stigma about chronic pain in diabetes and other diseases by encouraging patients to share their experiences on social media. In this way, it will generate a national public awareness campaign in which people living with chronic pain share their experiences and feelings – with the aim of empowering patients to "beat" pain by breaking the silence about it.

We look forward to accompanying the further progress of the winning projects and would like to thank all applicants for their effort and commitment. We are sure that we will hear more about your projects again in the future.

If you missed the ceremony, please watch this video that summarises the event.


The BMP Patient-Centred Innovation Grant is a joint project run by Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and financially supported by Grünenthal, with partner support from the European Pain Federation EFIC, the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), and the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA).

Further information about the BMP Grant can be found here

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