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bridges vol. 11, September 2006 / Institutions & Organizations
by Irene Eckart

canary_wharf_from_observatoLondon is not the typical location for an EU body. First, because it is not Brussels; and second because Britain often likes to distinguish itself from "Europe," as many British refer to continental Europe. And yet the European Medicines Agency, the pharmaceutical regulatory body of the EU, has its headquarters at 7 Westferry Circus in London's Docklands, an area formerly used as a harbor, and today home to major banks, auditing firms, and media companies. Some say that this location was a consolation prize to the British for not being allowed to host the European Central Bank, an endeavor the UK pursued despite its intention never to adopt the Euro (€). Looking at the EMEA's efforts regarding transatlantic cooperation, however, the location might not be a mere happenstance, or if so, it was a lucky one.

emealogowhitebackground What is the EMEA?
The European regulatory system for medicines is complex for the simple reason that the Member States regulate medicine together. This means that there are national agencies in addition to one central regulatory body, the European Medicines Agency, created in 1995. The recent expansion of the European Union to a membership of 25, as well as plans for future enlargement, is a challenge to every aspect of integration, and pharmaceutical regulation is no exception. Consequently, the EMEA's main responsibility and mission is to coordinate the scientific resources of the 25 EU Member States, with a view to providing European citizens with high quality, safe, and effective medicines for humans and animals and, at the same time, to advance towards a single market for medicines.

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bridges vol. 11, September 2006 / Institutions & Organizations
by Josef Teichmann


When you think of pushing a wheel of fortune you probably imagine a fancy prize like a bag full of money or a cruise through the Caribbean Sea. But would you ever think of Financial Mathematics? Most of us would not. But the job of a Financial and Actuarial Mathematician offers a wide range of possibilities. In addition to the rather classical part of this discipline, the calculation of life insurance, exciting fields of activity have been arising: risk management for markets in banking and credit, consulting in the field of capital investments, actuarial calculations for pension funds, definition of insurance charges, asset-liability-management, or developing investment strategies for the stock exchange regarding interest rates.

investment_wheel_small Financial Mathematics is a flourishing area of modern science, applying profound knowledge of pure mathematics to problems of financial economics. In general, profits and losses (as well as their distributions) on the stock exchange are not known in advance and, therefore, investment strategy decisions are challenging tasks. The "wheel of fortune" of the Research Unit of Financial and Actuarial Mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) offers a simple framework to design such investment strategies.

The work of the research group at TU Vienna is one of the outstanding examples of how fundamental research and practical applications can be successfully combined. Josef Teichmann, a young scientist within this research group who was recently awarded the Austrian START-Prize, explains in the following article the work and the ambitions of the institute.

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