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TOPIC : Mining big data for early detection of infectious disease threats driven by climate change and other factors

Topic identifier: SC1-BHC-13-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Planned opening date:
single-stage
26 July 2018
Deadline: 16 April 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

A range of factors is responsible for the (re-)emergence of infectious disease threats, including antimicrobial resistance, altering the epidemiology and spread of disease in a changing global environment. These include drivers such as climate change and associated environmental impacts, population growth, unplanned urbanisation and high mobility, as well as animal husbandry or intensive farming practices.

At the same time, tools for infectious disease diagnostics and surveillance are evolving rapidly, allowing for ever more accurate diagnosis in ever shorter time. The use of next generation sequencing combined with surveillance data, health registries and societal data from informal/non-traditional sources (e.g. social media) holds promise for improving individual and population health. Current advanced IT technologies offer the opportunity to integrate such big data sets and could enable the rapid and personalised treatment of infected patients, and bolster the detection, tracking and control of infectious disease outbreaks.

Scope:

It is expected that proposals develop:

  1. the technology to allow the pooling, access, analysis and sharing of relevant data, including next generation sequencing;
  2. the innovative bio-informatics and modelling methodologies that enable risk modelling and mapping; and
  3. the analytical tools for early warning, risk assessment and monitoring of (re-)emerging infectious disease threats.

Proposals should be able to demonstrate the feasibility of such extended data mining for the purposes outlined above, as well as its European level added value. The ready-to-use analytical tools and services that are developed should be based on an assessment of the needs of potential end-users in the Member States and on European level, should as far as possible build on and be compatible with existing European initiatives, and should remain available for public use at the end of the project at a reasonable cost.

Proposals should be transdisciplinary and ensure an integrated One Health approach by linking data from a wide range of relevant sources depending on the infectious disease threat. These may include human (e.g. community, hospital or laboratory health services) and animal health surveillance, health registries, microbial and viral genomic data (including next generation sequencing), pathogen resistance data, mapping of vectors, climate and environmental data[1] as well as societal data that are correlates of disease; possible sex and/or gender differences should be taken into account. Solutions for gaps in existing data (addressing both a lack in quality and quantity) should be proposed.

Solutions for interoperability between different data sources should be addressed and integrated. It is expected that quality-controlled data are shared in accordance to the general concepts of the FAIR[2] principles. The use of harmonised protocols in collaboration with other actors is recommended for this purpose. Appropriate regulatory and governance mechanisms need to be foreseen, taking into account different data sharing needs, as well as data privacy and data security aspects for the different types of stakeholders providing and analysing data. The technology and tools developed should be functional outside of outbreaks (i.e. in "peace time"), so that all stakeholders involved develop a routine use of them. At the same time, flexibility is needed to enable adaptation to different outbreak contexts and situations. The proposal shall foresee, in case of public health emergencies, open access to data at the moment it is generated or no later than one month thereafter subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients, in accordance with the relevant options in Article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

The use of advanced IT technologies like high performance computing, or geo-localisation data[3] are anticipated. The use of European health research (e-)infrastructures such as those included under CORBEL[4] is encouraged where relevant. The successful proposal(s) should foresee to consult with the end-users at both national (e.g. public health institutes) and European (e.g. ECDC, EFSA) level at key milestones of the project's timeline. If more than one proposal is selected, they are expected to collaborate. In addition, coordination will be needed with the selected proposal from the Horizon 2020 call topic SFS-36-2017 on the establishment of a European Joint Programme on One Health.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 12-15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Strengthened EU preparedness to address threats from (re-)emerging infectious disease threats, by making available the appropriate technology and tools for risk modelling and early threat detection, to support an appropriate public health response.
  • Contribution to the European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance.[5]
  • Contribution to the digital transformation of health and care within the context of the EU Digital Single Market.[6]
  • Contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and specifically the targets on 1) combating epidemics, and 2) strengthening capacity for early warning and response to health risks.[7] Contribution to achieving of SDG 13 and specifically the targets on 1) integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning, and 2) improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.[8]
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Science

[1]The use of climate change data from Copernicus is encouraged: http://climate.copernicus.eu/

[2]Findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable: https://www.force11.org/group/fairgroup/fairprinciples

[3]Use of data from the European global navigation satellite systems Galileo and EGNOS (Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is encouraged.

[4]http://www.corbel-project.eu/home.html

[5]To be published mid-2017.

[6]https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/digital-single-market_en

[7]http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/

[8]http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

The thresholds for each criterion in a single stage process will be 4, 4 and 3. The cumulative threshold will be 12.
The same applies to the second stage of the two-stage call for topics SC1-BHC15-2018, SC1-BHC01-2019, SC1-BHC02-2019, SC1-BHC14-2019, SC1-BHC19-2019, SC1-BHC22-2019, SC1-BHC25-2019

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Essential information for clinical studies

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

8. Additional documents:

Introduction WP 2018-20
Health, demographic change and well-being WP 2018-20
General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

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