The European Commission has adopted a number of countermeasures to the current health crisis in order to strengthen a response of the Research and Innovation area. Such actions have included so far:
• launching, in late January 2020, a special €48.5 million funding for projects advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response (18 projects already selected and started);
• modifying the focus of some funding lines (e.g. EIC Accelerator, March 2020 cut-off date, adapted to fund innovation related to Covid-19);
• extending submission deadlines for various schemes (a list of adjusted dates available here);
• steering the creation and management process of initiatives and funding schemes, designed to contribute to counter the virus and its effects, “addressing epidemiology, preparedness and response to outbreaks, the development of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, as well as the infrastructures and resources that enable this research”.
The spectrum of newly created tools is broad and include actions designed autonomously by the Commission (e.g. An “EUvsVirus Hackathon” to be held on 24-25-26 April and dedicated to innovators from all sector called to develop new solutions), led by ongoing EU-funded projects (e.g. calls for proposals contributing to counter Coronavirus using 3D-Printing technology ) or by external platforms (e.g the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, hosting various sectoral initiatives).
The landscape of the European response to the virus in the R&I area is fluid and it is highly likely to see additional initiatives in the near future, namely with strategic funding dedicated to innovative companies. The Commission also published on 7th April a first “ERAvsCORONA” Action Plan, identifying the priorities and short-term coordinated Research & Innovation actions in the management of the crisis.
The paper also includes a hint of an upcoming “Coronavirus European Innovation Council Platform” for matchmaking services for start-ups and SMEs to “exchange ideas on coronavirus innovations and connect with investors, public procurers, corporations and others”.
Leyton will stay ahead of the arising initiatives and opportunities for innovation actors in the health and related sector. Please get in touch with our specialists of the EU Affairs team for any support in navigating this evolving landscape.