27 Apr 2020   |   Network Updates   |   Update from EIT Health
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

EIT Health pledges over €6M towards COVID-19 solutions

Accelerating 14 “Rapid Response” innovation projects that focus on immediate and impactful solutions

EIT Health has announced that it will support the fight against COVID-19 with over €6 million in funding, which will be dedicated to 14 specially selected health innovation projects across Europe. These “Rapid Response” projects focus on immediate and impactful solutions that arm health services with better tools in navigating the pandemic. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the initiative from EIT Health actively contributes to the wider EU response to the crisis.

In its “Rapid Response” initiative, EIT Health evaluated existing budget provisions for planned projects in 2020 and reallocated some of those funds to support promising solutions that may assist in the fight against COVID-19. The 14 projects selected cover biotechnology, diagnostics, digital health and med tech, and will be run by 36 partners. The projects will work directly with healthcare services as part of the consortia, so that the solutions can be built in line with clinical needs and implemented without delay.

“We are proud of the fast and invaluable action taken by our employees, partners and wider network in response to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health. “COVID-19 has highlighted our vulnerability but it also allows us the opportunity to come together and collaborate to find new ways of strengthening our health systems and to create solutions to better equip the healthcare professionals working tirelessly to get us through this extremely difficult time. The projects that we have selected all show great potential using the power of the EIT Health network to develop cutting edge solutions.”

The projects, which will all be completed by the end of 2020, focus on:

  • The creation of faster and more effective COVID-19 diagnostics.
  • Clinical triaging solutions, so that healthcare providers can identify patients who require care in hospital versus those who can be managed at home under remote supervision.
  • Home monitoring solutions, so that healthcare professionals can closely track the condition of patients outside of the hospital environment and detect deterioration or worsening of symptoms.
  • Digital solutions for training of healthcare professionals and data resources to improve patient management, prognosis and outcomes.
  • Data-powered initiatives to identify biomarkers associated with the progression of COVID-19 and treatment responses at early stages of the disease.
  • Measures to reduce shortages in personal protective equipment, sanitary products and medical supplies.

See descriptions of the individual projects here.

“We thank each and every one of our partners who submitted to our Rapid Response, we received a high volume of creative and innovative proposals focussing on impactful solutions across many areas of pandemic response,” said Jorge Fernández García, Director of Innovation, EIT Health. “The projects have been selected based on their scientific and technological innovation, and address areas of immediate and high unmet need in relation to COVID-19. All projects demonstrated that their implementation could and would be rapid with the support of EIT Health, and that they could be scaled across multiple geographies, ensuring access for many European citizens. Our network means that we are ideally placed to support the collaboration of industry, research, academia, and, crucially, health service delivery (such as large hospitals across Europe), to put solutions in the hands of those who need them.”

The latest update from EIT Health comes following a number of COVID-19 related efforts from the health innovation network including:

  • Launch of a Headstart call for European start-ups to apply for grants of €50,000 to support the acceleration of COVID-19 related ideas.
  • Launch of a Making Connections platform via the EIT Health website, which aims to support people working in COVID-19 related research, product development and front-line healthcare roles to share their on-the-ground needs and solutions and be linked with organisations across Europe and beyond who can help.
  • Expansion of their European Crowdfunding platform, Aescuvest, offering start-ups and research companies the opportunity to finance their COVID-19 project.

To find out more about the work of the EIT Health community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit eithealth.eu/covid-19.

This article was first published on 27 April by EIT Health.

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