Research consortia and partnerships respond to COVID-19 research needs
In the past few weeks, the European Commission has rapidly mobilised new funds for research projects that will addressing the full spectrum of needs: understanding the disease, diagnosis, vaccines, treatment and preparedness. Through Horizon 2020 two special calls for research were launched. On 30 January 30th, a special call for expressions of interest to support research on COVID-19 for a budget of EUR 10 million was mobilised, subsequently increased to EUR 47,5 million, given the scale of the outbreak and the potential of the research projects submitted. Seventeen projects have been selected and notified at the beginning of March. In addition, on March 3rd, a special fast track call for research proposals was announced by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership between the EU and the pharmaceutical industry. The European Commission funds IMI through Horizon 2020 and will contribute up to EUR 45 million to this call. A commitment of a similar scale is expected from the pharmaceutical industry so that the total investment could reach up to EUR 90 million. The IMI call invites proposals for projects to develop treatments and diagnostics to better tackle the coronavirus outbreak and to increase preparedness for potential future outbreaks. Deadline for submission is March 31st.