22 Oct 2020

LIVE BLOG: R&D response to COVID-19 pandemic (Archived)

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The government of Norway is to give an additional €3.2 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for vaccine development, in bid to help ongoing R&D efforts to contain the pandemic,. Norway was one of the nine countries taking the initiative to create CEPI, and now has increased its total yearly contribution to €25 million.


The League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association for research-intensive universities, urged the European Commission to extend deadlines on the health, demographic change and well-being Work Programme. Funded through Horizon 2020, this call aims to promote healthy and active ageing. Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary General of LERU, called upon Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to extend the deadlines for the calls until 15 June 2020, saying “many potential beneficiaries are now highly occupied by their clinical jobs” treating patients.


European Commissioner for Youth and Innovation, Mariya Gabriel and science ministers from 14 countries linked up in a conference call on Wednesday to exchange information on ongoing scientific projects on COVID-19. Countries on the call included Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Portugal, Singapore and the UK.

The 14 countries have signed a declaration to open up access to all the information published on the coronavirus. Participants also agreed on the urgent need to increase global production of protective equipment, respirators and diagnostic tests. In a discussion between Australia and Spain the two countries considered the possibility of circumventing patents, to accelerate licensing processes and the transfer of technology, so as to quickly manufacture certain products worldwide.


The Horizon 2020-backed European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), launched an emergency call to support research activities in sub-Saharan Africa that aim to manage and prevent the COVID-19 outbreak. Research proposals should be in line with the WHO R&D Blueprint, and have a focus on strengthening national and local clinical research capacity, and on coordination and collaboration with other research and/or humanitarian activities. Application deadline: 17 April.


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