The fight continues: combatting the threat of coronavirus variants with Horizon Europe

The European Commission (EC) has announced to mobilise € 123 million from Horizon Europe for urgent research into coronavirus variants. This whopping amount is the first emergency fund to be released through the new programme and adds to a range of additional EU-funded research and innovation actions to fight the virus.

The goal: prevention, mitigation and response to impact

The emergency fund contributes to the overall action of the EC to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impact of coronavirus variants. Furthermore, it will be in line with the new European bio-defence preparedness plan HERA Incubator HERA Incubator is a new European preparedness plan that will bring together science, industry and public authorities and leverages available resources in preparing Europe for an increased threat of coronavirus variants. Researchers, biotech companies, manufacturers and public authorities in the EU and globally will work together to: detect new variants; provide incentives to develop new and adapted vaccines; speed up the approval process for these vaccines; and ensure scaling up of manufacturing capacities. The plan will also serve as a blueprint for the EU’s long-term preparedness for health emergencies. .

We continue to mobilise all means at our disposal to fight this pandemic and the challenges presented by coronavirus variants. We must use our combined strength to be prepared for the future, starting from the early detection of the variants to the organisation and coordination of clinical trials for new vaccines and treatments, while ensuring correct data collection and sharing at all stages. - Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Source: European Commission

What to expect of the new calls?

The new calls will complement earlier actions to develop treatments and vaccines. This can be achieved by organising and conducting clinical trials to advance the development of promising therapeutics and vaccines against the virus. In addition, the calls will support the development of large scale COVID-19 cohorts and networks internationally, forging links with European initiatives and reinforce infrastructures needed to share data, expertise, research resources and expert services among researchers and research organisations.

What will be expected of your project?

It is expected that your project will:

  • Establish new and/or build on existing large scale, multi-centre and regional/multinational cohorts in order to rapidly advance the knowledge of COVID-19 and its emerging variants.
  • Further develop promising therapeutics or vaccines. Note: they must have already completed preclinical development in clinical studies.
  • Support research infrastructures to speed up data sharing and deliver fast research support and expertise. All collected data will be used to confront new variants and ensure readiness to future epidemics.

Apply now and make a change

Are you currently researching coronavirus variants and do you believe your results offer a valuable contribution to the goal of the EC? The calls are open to submissions until 6 May 2021. Our ambitious team of grant specialists would be pleased to research and discuss the possibilities of these new calls for your ground-breaking study.

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