The European Commission (EC) is prioritising research into the coronavirus as €10m from Horizon 2020 is to be used to fund coronavirus research projects.
The EC has launched an emergency request for research projects that will advance our understanding of the novel coronavirus epidemic, contribute to efficient clinical management of patients infected with the coronavirus.
European Commission to collaborate with the World Health Organization
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “We are working to mitigate the consequences of a potential larger spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in the EU.
“Thanks to emergency research funding from Horizon 2020, we will know more about the disease. I am proud that following the progress made during the last years, our supercomputer centres stand ready to help researchers in their work to develop new treatment and vaccines.
“We will be able to protect the public better, and to deal more effectively with the current and any future outbreaks.”
The EC has launched this action as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
The coronavirus continues to spread, with the first confirmed cases reported in Europe. The Commission is working with the WHO and other international actors to ensure a rapid, efficient and coordinated European and global response to the outbreak.
“We need to know more about the virus to better target our prevention measures”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety commented: “We need to see a multifaceted, whole-of-government response to the coronavirus and research is an essential part of this.
“We need to know more about the virus to better target our prevention measures and to ensure better care for our citizens – this is precisely the aim of the Horizon 2020 emergency research funding announced today.”
The funding is expected to support two to four research projects. The EC is using all means at its disposal in order to enable research work to start as soon as possible. Applicants have until 12 February to respond and grant agreements should also be signed quickly.
Grants will be subject to rapid data-sharing clauses to ensure that authorities can apply research findings immediately in their response. This rapid action is made possible by a provision of Horizon 2020 for the “Mobilisation of research funds in case of public health emergencies.”