The European Commission has announced that it will support 23 new research projects with €128 million in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The funding under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, is part of the European Commission's €1.4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, launched by President Ursula von der Leyen in May 2020.
The 23 projects shortlisted for funding involve 347 research teams from 40 countries, including 34 participants from 16 countries outside of the EU. The funding will enable researchers to address the pandemic and its consequences by strengthening the industrial capacity to manufacture and deploy readily available solutions, develop medical technologies and digital tools, improve understanding of behavioural and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, and to learn from large groups of patients (cohorts) across Europe. These research actions complement earlier efforts to develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
Projects from and in partnership with Luxembourg
One of the projects short-listed for funding comes from the Luxembourg Institute of Health. “COVIRNA” is focused on a diagnostic test to improve surveillance and care of COVID-19 patients. The project coordinated by the LIH runs in collaboration with partners from 11 different countries.
Luxembourg is involved in six further short-listed projects in the fields of repurposing of manufacturing, medical technologies, social and economic impacts of the various measures taken, learning from large groups of patients, and networking research institution.
This second emergency request for expressions of interest, launched by the Commission on 19 May 2020 gave researchers just under 4 weeks to prepare collaborative research projects. The research community mobilised rapidly. Research proposals were fast-tracked through evaluation by independent experts, enabling the Commission to shortlist a number of projects of excellent scientific quality and high potential impact. Although funding is conditional on a final Commission decision and the signature of the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement, the research teams can already start their work.
Many of the 23 short-listed projects have an international dimension beyond the EU and associated countries, with 34 organisations involved from 16 countries outside of the EU including countries associated to the Horizon 2020 programme and third countries