Coronavirus: €128 million granted for research to address pressing needs and the socio-economic impact of the pandemic

Following the selection announcement in August, the Commission has now signed grant agreements, under Horizon 2020, with 23 new research projects that will receive a total of €128 million to address the continuing coronavirus pandemic and its effects. The funding will enable additional research to strengthen and adapt industrial capacity to manufacture and deploy medical equipment, such as ventilators; prevent and treat the coronavirus; develop medical technologies and digital tools, such as portable diagnostic systems; understand better the societal impact of the pandemic, for example on vulnerable and marginalised groups; and learn from large groups of patients (cohorts) across Europe in order to improve treatments. The projects involve 344 research teams from 39 countries, including 32 participants from 15 countries outside of the EU. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “This research is essential to better address various aspects of this and future pandemics, allowing us to increase our capacity to react more quickly to prevent contagion, improve diagnosis and treatment, and take better mitigation measures that take into account behavioural, social and economic aspects, including gender-related issues.” Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, added: “Digital technologies are essential in our response to this sudden and severe health threat. Awarding financial support to these excellent projects which have digital tools and Artificial Intelligence at the heart of their innovative approaches will deliver new solutions to protect healthcare workers, quickly detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and improve intensive care – all to contribute to our joint fight against this pandemic.” The funding under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, is part of the Commission’s €1.4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, launched by President von der Leyen in May 2020, and complements earlier efforts to develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. It is also part of the EU’s contribution to the global collaboration on Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, aimed at accelerating development, production, and equitable access to coronavirus tests, treatments, and vaccines. More information about the selected projects is available here and in this factsheet.