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Article – EU research funds to fight the coronavirus

The EU has come up with a coordinated response to help tackle the current crisis. Funding research and innovation projects to find a cure for Covid-19 is a vital part of that plan.

Tackling the current outbreak

The European Commission has allocated €47.5 million tor 17 research projects within Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for funding research.

The 136 research teams from across the EU and beyond that are participating in these projects are working on:

  • improving preparedness and response to outbreaks by developing better monitoring systems to prevent and control the spread of the virus
  • rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests, enabing quicker and more accurate diagnosis
  • new treatments
  • developing new vaccines

Research teams will share their results in an effort to speed up the public health response.

The Commission also called for research proposals by the end of March focusing on developing treatments and diagnostics to tackle the current outbreak and increase preparedness for future. It falls within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between the EU and the pharmaceutical industry, which is also funded through Horizon 2020. A €90 million total investment is expected: up to half coming from the EU budget and the rest from the industry.

On 16 March, the Commission provided financial support to the tune of €80 million to CureVac, an innovative vaccine developer in Germany, to support work on the coronavirus vaccine. This support will also come from Horizon 2020, in the form of an EU guarantee of a currently assessed EIB loan of an identical amount.

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