Global cooperation initiatives in research and innovation
To face the spreading of the coronavirus the EU is intensifying its global efforts, joining forces with partner countries to find solutions, and maximizing access to the latest scientific knowledge and international value chains.
Supporting research is one of the 3 pillars of the EU’s global response to the coronavirus crisis as set out by the European Commission and the High Representative on 8 April.
The EU is supporting the global response to COVID-19 both through multilateral platforms and Horizon 2020 projects.
The response includes the following 3 initiatives.
The Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLoPID-R) network
The Commission is working with other research funders through GLopid-R. This network is mobilised to facilitate a rapid and effective response to this outbreak, through the coordination of research agendas and addressing priority research needs.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
In consultation with the World Health Organisation, CEPI has identified vaccine candidates to undergo clinical trials, with further candidates likely to follow. Ongoing work includes scaling up other potential vaccine candidates.
CEPI has issued an urgent call for US$2 billion to boost the search for an effective vaccine.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. The European Commission contributes to CEPI through its Horizon 2020 programme, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, and the UK.
In October 2019, the European Commission contributed to a clinical trial for a novel Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
EDCTP brings together the EU, 16 African and 14 European countries to fund research to combat infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership funds clinical research to accelerate the development of new or improved medical interventions against infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
In April EDCTP announced emergency calls for expressions of interest to support research on the coronavirus and to strengthen research capacities in sub-Saharan Africa. 3 calls in total will be funded with over €25 million from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.
Ongoing EDCTP projects
Through EDCTP the following projects are also currently active in addressing the coronavirus outbreak.
The African coaLition for Epidemic Research,
Response and Training (ALERRT)
This project has a response framework that alleviates administrative, regulatory and ethical bottlenecks and mobiles research capabilities ensuring swift action to initiate fit-for-purpose clinical and laboratory research in varying settings within sub-Saharan Africa.
Institut Pasteur de Dakar, one of the partners of the project, is leading the activities for country preparedness under the direction of the Africa CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).
The Pan-African Network For Rapid Research, Response, Relief and Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Epidemics (PANDORA-ID-NET)
Focuses on epidemic preparedness, is currently collaborating with the Africa CDC to offer assistance in terms of surveillance and laboratory skills training.
Networks or Excellence (NoEs)
EDCTP supports networks of research centres that are involved in clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa. These NoEs facilitate research collaboration by uniting diverse institutions in the 4 regions of sub-Saharan Africa.