The European Commission is planning to invest another €122 million in COVID-19 research and has launched a second call for an expression of interest by projects in manufacturing, digital technologies, population-based cohort studies, etc.
You may also like: EU Supports Clinical Trials During COVID-19
This call follows the first expression of interest that the European Commission published in January 2020. The first stage focused on advancing the knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and its impact on infected persons and led to the funding of 18 projects in March 2020.
The second call, open until 11 June, offers five opportunities in fields such as repurposing of production lines for medical supplies manufacturing, development of medical and digital technologies, assessments of the behavioural, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, and studies of pan-European cohorts of COVID-19 patients.
Medical technologies, digital tools and artificial intelligence (AI) analytics related to diagnostics, surveillance, telehealth, personal protection equipment and COVID-19 data aggregation will get €56 million of funding. Another €23 million is allocated to repurposing of existing production lines. Behavioural and social projects, especially those focused on mental health and health inequalities, will receive €20 million, as will population-based cohort studies (prospective or retrospective). Existing EU and international COVID-19 cohorts will be supported with the remaining €3 million.
The initiative is aimed at development of widely available and accessible products, services and technologies. Grant agreements will, therefore, contain clauses on rapid data-sharing, so that findings and outcomes can be immediately implemented.
The call will be explained in an online information session, to be webstreamed here on 20 May, 2020, at 14:00-16:30 CET.
In another recent development, the EU-financed Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has provisionally selected 8 projects for funding from its fast-track Call for proposals on coronavirus diagnostics and treatments. Of those, 5 focus on diagnostics and 3 on treatments. The full list is available here. In addition, the IMI funding has been increased from €45 million to €72 million, and the partners will contribute over €45 million.