This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.
The Commission has shortlisted 11 new projects worth 120 million euros from Horizon Europe, the largest European research and innovation program (2021-2027), to support and enable urgent research on the coronavirus and its variants. This funding is part of a wide range of research and innovation actions carried out to combat the coronavirus and contributes to the overall action of the Commission to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impact of the virus and its variants , in accordance with the new European biodefense. HERA Incubator preparation plan.
The 11 shortlisted projects involve 312 research teams from 40 countries, including 38 participants from 23 non-EU countries.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, mentionned: âThe European Union has taken strong action to combat the coronavirus crisis. Today we are step up our research efforts to address the challenges and threats posed by the variants of the coronavirus. By supporting these new research projects and strengthening and opening relevant research infrastructures, we continue to fight this pandemic and prepare for future threats. “
Most projects will support clinical trials of new treatments and vaccines, as well as the development of large-scale coronavirus cohorts and networks beyond the borders of Europe, forging links with European initiatives. Other projects will strengthen and expand access to research infrastructures providing services or needed to share data, expertise and research resources among researchers, to enable research on the coronavirus and its variants. These infrastructures include those already active such as the European COVID-19 Data Platform and the relevant European life science research infrastructures.
Successful consortia will collaborate with other relevant initiatives and projects at national, regional and international levels to maximize synergies and complementarity and avoid duplication of research efforts. They will help build the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which will enable the EU to anticipate and better fight against future pandemics.
In February, the president of the Ursula Commission von der Leyen announced the launch of a European HERA Incubator biodefense readiness plan aimed at preparing Europe for an increased threat of coronavirus variants. The HERA incubator will bring together science, industry and public authorities and will use all available resources to enable Europe to meet this challenge.
In April, the Commission announced new calls for urgent research into variants of the coronavirus with an initial budget of EUR 123 million mobilized as part of the first emergency funding under Horizon Europe. Although funding for these 11 projects is conditional on a final Commission decision and the signing of Horizon Europe grant agreements in the coming months, the research teams can already start their work.
The Commission has been at the forefront of supporting research and innovation and coordinating European and global research efforts, including pandemic preparedness. He pledged â¬ 1.4 billion to the global response to the coronavirus, of which â¬ 1 billion comes from Horizon 2020, the EU’s previous research and innovation program (2014-2020). The new projects will complement those previously funded under Horizon 2020 to fight the pandemic.