In November 1999, the KFOC and the CSN co-hosted the Horizons 2000+ conference, bringing together multiple stakeholders to develop approaches to enhance kidney research capacity and infrastructure in Canada. This was the first of a series of strategic planning meetings that resulted in the release of the National Research Coalition Task Force report in 2002. This report contained the blueprint for a long-term strategy to build research capacity through productive partnerships and to create a fertile environment for research excellence and innovation.
In the autumn of 2002, the CSN established the Ad Hoc Scientific Committee to address concerns related to the diminished ability to attract and sustain kidney research scientists in Canada, and the barriers to knowledge translation. With support from the CSN and the KFOC, the committee organized two meetings in March and September 2003, bringing together a broad spectrum of leading biomedical, clinical and allied health scientists from across Canada and representatives from The Kidney Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Out of these conferences arose the commitment to an exciting new training program for kidney research scientists, with support from the partnership between the KFOC and the CSN, and involving the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and private sector stakeholders. Its uniqueness would be characterized in several ways: a) it would recruit trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum, b) it would support career development at the post-doctoral level and in the period following the Candidate's first Faculty appointment, with ongoing mentorship support, and c) it would foster the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.
The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) program was launched in January 2005 and is a testimony to the leadership of the individuals, organizations and companies committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease throughout Canada.