The European Commission has decided to fund another project as part of its emergency call for urgently needed research and innovation into the coronavirus. This means it will support 18 projects with a total of €48.5 million from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.
The project, called HG nCoV19 test and coordinated by an Irish SME, will develop and validate rapid molecular diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
Front-line health workers need to diagnose coronavirus more quickly and more accurately. This reduces the risk of further spread of the virus. I am happy that we can add another project to the EU-funded effort to develop rapid diagnostics.
The Commission launched the emergency call in January. Following initial assessment, it announced selection of 17 projects on 6 March. On 30 March, the 18th proposal was added to the initial shortlist; its evaluation having been initially suspended pending the provision of administrative information.
This brings the total amount of funding in this call up by €1m to €48.5 million, and the total number of research teams involved in the 18 projects to 140. These projects are rapidly starting to work on understanding the behaviour of the epidemic through epidemiology and modelling, developing rapid diagnostics, as well as treatments and vaccines.
In addition, the EU has mobilised public and private funding of up to €90 million through the Innovative Medicines Initiative, and offered up to €80 million of financial support to the innovative company CureVac to scale up development and production of a vaccine against the Coronavirus.