I am pleased to have this opportunity to bring you up to date on the Sense-Park project which Joy Duffen has kindly (and bravely) suggested I present from a PwP perspective. I am privileged to have become involved quite extensively over the last eight months or so as a volunteer contributor tactfully, I hope, on occasions reminding the team of our PwP idiosyncrasies. Not that our best interests aren’t always at heart because the official policy of the EU funded grant is to involve PwP’s in the process of design and development every step of the way. Think of me only as a “pathfinder” - the team at CPT really do to appreciate the forthright and sometimes highly critical input from all their PwP volunteers and their thanks go to all of you that have helped to date and offered to do so for this next year; I hope to meet you all.

Every December the partners that are working on this EU funded grant are required to account for themselves and report the progress that has been made over the previous year to official assessors of the European Commission. Prior to a full day’s meeting with the EU assessors in Brussels an extensive report has to be submitted which covers everything from the "tasks" and "deliverables" that were promised in the original grant proposal to detailed accounts of financial expenditure and its justification. As a result of the experience and support of Dr Holm Graessner at the University of Tubingen, who, as Project Co-Ordinator is responsible for assembling the report and helping all of the partnership members prepare appropriate presentations for the meeting in Brussels no-one was left in any doubt that that the whole process went off very well with all partners having acquitted themselves admirably. I attended this meeting and was extremely proud of our two CPT team members, Helen and Joy, whose closing presentation was undoubtedly the most impressive.

The formal meeting with the EU officials was followed the next day by a more relaxed and pleasant partnership gathering just outside Brussels thanks to the hospitality of UCB Pharma in their splendid offices. There were some spirited exchanges about the next steps in the project notably regarding the design and conduct of the small clinical trials planned for Spring of this year. Meanwhile, CPT has focused on trying to ensure that the rather complex instructions can be deciphered and be sure that the sensors and programmes being tested could be made to work without technological hiccups. The project is at a slightly frustrating stage where CPT has prototypes but inevitably they are still not free of glitches in their function and although the clever IT partners have made great progress in developing subtle algorithms to analyze symptoms, such as tremor, they have not reached the point where nice easy to understand results can be seen!!

Having attended a number EU partnership meetings and witnessed the enthusiasm and dedication of all members of the team and especially the technical and clinical experts I am sure that I speak for all members of the Parkinson’s community when I offer our thanks and appreciation for their unselfish efforts to make the Sense-Park project a success.

Alan Lewin