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Additional Horizon 2020 funding for COVID-19 related topics

The European Commission (EC) has launched several Research and Innovation actions through its main research framework Horizon 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis. During the Global Response pledging event beginning of May 2020, the EC has announced several further actions, including a second call for COVID-19 related collaborative research projects. A summary of the EC actions announced beginning of May can be found here.

Full information on the second expression of interest can be found here.
An information webinar will be held on 20 May 2020, 14h00 – 16h30, via this weblink.

 

Second Call of Expression of Interest

Target

Innovative, wide scale, rapid application of health-based solutions to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking into account the wide variety of approaches how care is delivered across Europe. Proposals should consider the involvement of end-users and health authorities. This second Expression of Interest implements the Action 3 of the ERA ERAvsCorona Plan Action. The EC is specifically aiming at a small number of large, high-quality projects, so the calls will be very competitive.

The focus of this Expression of Interest is not to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccine compounds or solutions, but rather to complete and deploy readily available solutions.

Timeline

The call opens 19 May and the deadline is 11 June. Evaluation will take maximum 2 months after the call deadline. Project costs are eligible from the day of submission, at the applicant’s risk. Project outcomes should be rapid (within 3-24 months) and proposals can be concise to focus on the essential information, allowing quick evaluation by experts. Project start is maximum 4 months after the call deadline.

Action areas

  1. Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment
  2. Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels
  3. Behavioral, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response
  4. Pan-European COVID-19 cohort(s) united against the pandemic
  5. Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19

 

Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2A)

This topic covers new processes for repurposing, adaptation and ramp-up of production lines to strengthen Europe’s ability to adjust quickly to new and urgent production needs.

It addresses any manufacturer able to deliver demonstrators of a flexible 48-hour industrial response capability at scale to sudden spikes in demand of strategic products cuts (for instance PPE, respirators) for requalification or release of production lines. Open Innovation Testbeds, laboratories, other technology infrastructures and maker communities may in particular be relevant. Activities should start at TRL 6 and achieve TRL 8 and the end of the project. Results should reach end users within 3-18 months. Recommended budget is 5-6Mio €.

Scope 

  • Repurposing of production lines for medical equipment, diagnostics, automated systems of disinfection
  • Flexibility models for the supply chain
  • Automation technologies less dependent on work force
  • Certification of repurposed or restarted production lines
  • Qualification of operators for these new production lines

 

Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2B, IA)

This Innovation Action will support two types of projects (maximum duration 2 years):

  1. projects that are supporting close-to-market solutions (TRL 7, CE marking or close to CE) to proceed to large-scale testing, piloting and deployment operations in critical healthcare areas; 2-5Mio € recommended budget
  2. projects that are supporting market innovation (from lab-to-fab, TRL 6-7) for further developing and maturing innovation solutions already validated in lab environments for accelerating development and conformity (CE) achievement. Typical applicants should be Digital Innovation Hubs, digital health accelerators, knowledge transfer organizations etc. These centers of excellence will in turn provide technical (testing, product development, certification) and financial support (typically 20’000-100’000 €) to third party applicants; up to 10Mio € recommended budget. Third party funding calls (if included) should be launched within a month.

The focus will be on readily deployable solutions in the flowing areas:

  • Fast and cost-effective diagnostics (including AI and photonics, e.g. for lung imaging)
  • Environmental surveillance (sewage, air) to measure viral spread
  • Low cost sensors, wearables, AI for telemedicine, patient monitoring
  • Protection of health care workers and public (face mask materials, sterilization, social distancing)
  • Data-driven services and tools for diagnostics, prevention or treatment

 

Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2C, RIA)

This topic covers two subtopics. Recommended budget is 4-10Mio €.

  1. The first subtopic focuses on the analysis and the comparison of outbreak responses across Europe and their impacts on human behaviour and social dynamics.
  2. The second topic addresses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and health inequalities.

Projects under this call will provide health authorities with guidance for further public health interventions and to support implementation of actions as well as a holistic assessments of social, economic and political impacts of the outbreak and its responses across Europe for improving industry and society’s resilience and a fast recovery of the current healthcare emergency.

 

Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts united against the pandemic (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2D, RIA)

Proposals are expected to establish new or build on existing large-scale cohorts to rapidly advance knowledge on SARS-Cov2. They should include infected and non-infected individuals from all ages and conditions and cover a wide geographical area inside and outside of Europe. Projects should liaise with other large COVID-19 clinical trials and related H2020 projects. Links to the European COVID-19 sharing platform (https://www.covid19dataportal.org/) should be established. Recommended budget is 15-20Mio €.

The following aspects should be considered:

  • Risk factors (genetics, socio-economics, immunology, microbiome, co-morbidities etc) influencing the clinical manifestation, therapeutic response or outcome
  • Identify successful clinical management options and treatments
  • Assess impact of the outbreak and the mitigation actions on health, wellbeing and socio-economic factors of individuals

 

Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19 (SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020- CSA COHORT)

Proposals under this coordination and support action should support the international networking of existing, mainly longitudinal, cohorts in order to extract jointly agreed standardized data on SARSCoV-2 diagnosed/serotyped and matched non-infected individuals. This effort should contribute to help in the identification of key factors influencing the susceptibility to infection and clinical manifestation, to assess the optimized therapeutic and clinical management options, and to derive lessons on the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. Recommended budget is 2-3Mio€.

 

 

Horizon 2020 funding rules apply

Projects will be collaborative and involve at least three entities from three different countries from the European Union and Associated Countries (the average consortium size is around 10-12 participants). International cooperation with countries outside Europe is encouraged and can be funded if their inclusion is judged essential by reviewers; US participants are automatically eligible for funding for subtopics 2A, 2C and 2D. More general information on Horizon 2020 funding is available here.

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