On March 31, 2021, part of the Research Infrastructures work program dedicated to COVID-19 was adopted. This short version of the Work Program includes two calls to face the challenges posed by the pandemic and specifically to face the new variants of the virus, monitoring its evolution and developing and rapidly producing effective vaccines against these variants on a large scale.
FAIR and open data sharing in support to European preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
To facilitate and accelerate access to SARS-COV2 (new variants) and COVID-19 data through the European COVID-19 Portal, and support the creation of national and regional structures of data sharing.
Proposals should facilitate and accelerate the access to, and the linking of data and metadata on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, including through the European COVID-19 Data Portal, the Versatile Emerging infectious disease Observatory (VEO) and other relevant initiatives, with the emphasis on identifying and tracking of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and creating appropriate links with serology and other host data. The scope of the initiative should further expand to other relevant infectious diseases, and incorporate epidemiological, clinical (including Real World Data), and socio-economic data, spanning from molecular biology to other disciplines, including Social Sciences and Humanities. A One-Health approach building on the latest technological advances, covering epidemics and epizootics is encouraged. Particular importance should be given to the need of federating data between national centres to effectively manage data protection.
Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics
To integrate the different infrastructure services into a common portfolio that supports research on the virus, with special attention to research on new variants. In this case, transnational and / or virtual access to the different services must be ensured, as well as the necessary training to allow optimal use of the infrastructures.
Proposals under this action, will integrate research infrastructure services to form a comprehensive and inclusive portfolio to support research in response to infectious disease epidemics or underpinning respective forefront research in the field. As a first immediate challenge, the delivered services should support research targeting newly emerging SARS-Cov-2 variants and addressing the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
Proposals will support the provision of trans-national and/or virtual access to researchers as well as training for using the infrastructures, and activities to improve, customise and integrate the services the infrastructures provide, so as to facilitate and integrate the access procedures and to further develop the remote or virtual provision of services.