Coronavirus: EU steps up cooperation in research and innovation to fight the virus

The Commission and EU Member States will coordinate research and innovation activities in the fight against the coronavirus even closer. At a meeting via videoconference on 7 April 2020, EU Research Ministers supported the ‘ERAvsCorona’ action plan, which rapidly resulted from dialogues between the Commission services and national ministries. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Research and innovation are providing the hope and scientific knowledge we need to combat the coronavirus. To have stronger impact, we need to cooperate even closer across the EU and beyond. I warmly welcome the support ministers gave to the first immediate ‘ERAvsCorona’ actions. They provide an excellent basis to coordinate, share information and research data, and to fund priority actions. Joining forces will makes us stronger in tackling this virus.” The action plan contains 10 short-term priority actions to combat the coronavirus, based on an unprecedented joint effort. In particular, EU Member States welcomed the proposed extension of EU-funded clinical trials of therapies, the envisaged interdisciplinary call for innovative solutions on medical and preparedness measures, the possible top-up funding of ongoing calls for innovative small and medium businesses via the European Innovation Council, and a new platform to exchange research data on the coronavirus. More information on the ‘ERAvsCorona’ action plan will be available here shortly, as well in a press release by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Commission has offered concrete support to urgently needed research and innovation as part of the common European response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.