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Coronavirus: EU issues new call for EUR 122m research funding

Coronavirus: EU issues new call for EUR 122m research funding

Coronavirus research

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission put out a call for expressions of interest for new funding of EUR 122 million Tuesday for urgently needed research into the coronavirus. The deadline for submission is 11 June.

The new call comes from the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, and is the latest addition to a range of EU-funded research and innovation actions to fight the coronavirus.

The funding complements earlier actions to develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines by strengthening capacity to manufacture and deploying readily available solutions in order to rapidly address the pressing needs. It will also improve understanding of the behavioural and socio-economic impacts of the epidemic.

"We must explore technological solutions to manufacture medical equipment and supplies faster, to monitor and prevent the spread of the disease, and to better care for patients," said the EU's Commissioner for Innovation and Research Mariya Gabriel.

The projects funded under this call should repurpose manufacturing for rapid production of vital medical supplies and equipment needed for testing, treatment and prevention, as well as develop medical technologies and digital tools to improve detection, surveillance and patients care. New research will learn from large groups of patients (cohorts) across Europe and better understanding of the behavioural and socio-economic impacts of the coronavirus epidemic could help improve treatment and prevention strategies.

The deadline for submission is 11 June, while the call will focus on delivering results quickly. Europe, and the world at large, urgently need innovative solutions to contain and mitigate the outbreak, and to better care for patients, survivors, vulnerable groups, frontline health care staff and their communities. This is why the Commission aims to enable research work to start as quickly as possible through shorter timelines for the preparation of expressions of interest and for their evaluation.

The new solutions need to be available and affordable for all, in line with the principles of the Coronavirus Global Response. For this purpose, the Commission will include rapid data-sharing clauses in grant agreements, resulting from this new call, to ensure that findings and outcomes can be put to use immediately.

The new call will cover five areas with the following indicative budgets:

  • Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment (€23 million)
  • Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (€56 million)
  • Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak responses (€20 million)
  • Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts (€20 million)
  • Collaboration of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19 (€3 million)

Cohort studies typically observe large groups of individuals, recording their exposure to certain risk factors to find clues as to the possible causes of disease. They can be prospective studies and gather data going forward, or retrospective cohort studies, which look at data already collected.

Special Horizon 2020 request for expressions of interest

Information session on the new call for expressions of interest – COVID 19: webcast (Wednesday 20 May 2020, 14:00-16:30 Brussels time)


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