The current COVID-19 crisis puts the world to the test, and research and innovation will be key in tackling this enormous challenge. The complexity that COVID-19 imposes will require an out-of-the-box approach, which transcends scientific disciplines, actors and regions. COST manages more than 250 COST Actions, of which many are dealing directly or indirectly with aspects linked to this crisis.
The bottom-up and interdisciplinary nature of COST Actions constitutes a fertile breeding ground for the development of these much-needed ideas and solutions. Moreover, a COST Action has on average 30+ countries on board, which guarantees that collaboration is truly cross-border and involves perspectives from a wide range of countries from all over Europe.
COST Action initiatives
One of our COST Actions, New diagnostic and therapeutic tools against multidrug resistant tumors has created a “Task Force” of researchers contributing to Covid-19 research. The main objective of this task force is to synthesize new drugs or identify FDA approved drugs which could be repurposed as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 and contribute to diagnosis or prognosis of COVID-19. The coordinators of this task force identified the need to expand their network by collaborating with scientists with complementary expertise. To this end, they contacted Chairs from other COST Actions with added expertise on medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, cellular biology, molecular biology, genetics, systems medicine, medicine, bioinformatics and virology. Consequently, an informal inter-COST Actions network was initiated.
Broad focus of research
COST Actions do not only focus on medical treatments and vaccines, but also deal with a wide range of disciplines focusing on economic and societal fall-out of a crisis, such as health care in general and on societal questions touched upon by COVID-19. Several examples can be found in the April edition of the COST newsletter