This second call for an Expression of Interest implements Action 3 of the ERAvsCorona Action Plan, which resulted from dialogues between the Commission services and the national ministries over the period March-April 2020. The full title of Action 3 is ‘New funding for innovative and rapid health-related approaches that respond to COVID-19 and deliver quick results relevant to society and a higher level of preparedness of health systems’. In line with the Pledge for the Coronavirus Global Response launched on 4 May 2020, it is of paramount importance that new solutions need to be available and affordable for all.
This second call for an expression of interest complements the first expression of interest that the European Commission published in January 2020, which led to the funding of 18 projects in March 2020. The first expression of interest focused on advancing the knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and its impact on infected persons, with the aim of contributing to an efficient patient management and/or public health preparedness and response.
Since then, it has become even more vital to rapidly deliver innovative solutions to contain and mitigate the outbreak and to better care for patients, survivors, vulnerable groups, frontline (health) care staff and their communities – especially in the coming 18 months. Policy makers (at all levels), care providers and other employers urgently need practical evidence-based guidelines to deal with problems resulting from current containment and mitigation measures to control the outbreak. Studies of cohort(s) could rapidly identify what factors influence the susceptibility to infection, clinical manifestation, therapeutic response and clinical outcomes. The quick development and deployment of innovative, adaptive, resilient production methods and solutions (IT-or other) could quickly address immediate needs in health and social care provision.
Considering the huge impact of the pandemic, the scope of this expression of interest has five focus topics;
- Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment.
- Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels.
- Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response.
- Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts.
- Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19.
This Call of expression of interest is funded through actions of the "SC1 Health, demographic change and wellbeing" of Horizon2020. This expression of interest invites proposals for R&I activities that aim for a wide scale, rapid (in general within 3-24 months) 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 strong involvement of end-users (including civil society organisations) and/or strategic partners during the course of the project. Possible end-users and strategic partners are; local or regional health authorities or other types of care delivery organisations (also in their role as employers), civil society organisations, as well as public and private organisations, such as investors and innovation accelerators.
Proposals will contribute to making healthcare systems and societies more resilient to pandemics in terms of prevention, protection and treatment of the population and COVID-19 patients. Projects could make significant and immediate impacts in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable and the, well-being and operational capacity of frontline workers. In addition, this expression of interest encourages proposals to come forward that lead to increasing short term production and distribution capacities and proposals that facilitate new effective approaches for multi-level cooperation between, local, regional Member States and EU-levels. Actions must demonstrate how they bring about a faster, more impactful, cost-effective and larger scale implementation of innovative (technological and non-technological) solutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gender-related issues are an important crosscutting focus of this expression of interest. All data should be sex- and gender-disaggregated, and indirect effects of the pandemic on gender equality should also be considered. In addition, attention should be paid to critical social factors intersecting with sex/gender, such as age, social origin, ethnicity/migration, and disability.
Therefore, 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.
International Cooperation through the participation of legal entities from third countries, and/or regions including those not automatically eligible for funding in accordance with General Annex A, is encouraged in the current call, within the terms of the Rules for Participation and of the mentioned General Annex A.
All deadlines are at 17.00.00 Brussels local time. Any change in the deadlines will be duly communicated.
The signature of the grant agreements and the grant amounts are subject to the adoption of the revised financing decision for the year 2020 expected for late May 2020.
Beneficiaries in grants awarded under actions relating to this Public Health Emergency will be allowed to charge the cost of clinical studies on the basis of unit costs established in line with a methodology set up in the Commission Decision C(2016) 7553, which is available on the Funding and tenders Portal.
Please note that expenditures can be covered from the date of submission of the proposal, but at the applicant’s own risk. Proposals can be concise and should focus on the essential information to facilitate an appropriate evaluation.
Proposals are invited against the following topic(s):
SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2A – Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment. IA–Innovation action. Budget: 23 000 000.
SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2B – Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). IA–Innovation action. Budget: 56 000 000.
SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2C – Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response. RIA – Research and Innovation action. Budget: 20 000 000.
SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2D – Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts. RIA – Research and Innovation action. Budget: 20 000 000.
SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2E – Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19. CSA Coordination and support action. Budget: 3 000 000.