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The ICF Research Branch was founded in 2003 (at Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, Germany) to promote and further develop the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), a World Health Organisation (WHO) reference classification, including through the implementation of the ICF in the areas of health, education and social policy. The ICF Research Branch has been hosted by the Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF) in Nottwil, Switzerland since 2009. 

Since 2003, the ICF Research Branch has collaborated with partners in more than 50 countries worldwide to realise its vision in research programs and implementation activities, such as ICF Core Set development, creation of a web-based ICF training tool, organization of ICF train-the-train workshops and many more. It is run by an international Steering Committee, a group of renowned experts in ICF. It's research and implementation efforts are powered by a multi-professional and international group of scientists. The ICF Research Branch has also been an active contributor to the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network over many years. Until May 2020, the ICF Research Branch was a partner within the German WHO-FIC collaborating centre.