An overview of 2021 and plans for 2022 from ZonMw
In 2021, as well as completing 130 smaller projects, the 105 large 2020 projects funded by ZonMw were monitored and the results reported regularly to the Ministry of Health Welfare and Sport (VWS).
Through our links to other stakeholders, such as the Health Council, the rapid availability and use of these results was ensured. Over the year, we brought together project leaders, often with stakeholders, to discuss implementation and to enhance the impact of the study results. All the 2020 projects were included in the GLOPID-R/UKCDR COVID-19 Research Project Tracker.
As part of our approach to ensure that the entire research community has access to COVID-19 research data and to enhance collaboration and accelerate the exchange of knowledge, we introduced open science and FAIR data stewardship for ZonMw projects.
The development of FAIR data services involved training, support & community building for principal investigators and their data stewards to create COVID-19-specific, machine-readable metadata schemes for biomedical and social sciences. The National Data Portal was developed to highlight and share the FAIR (meta)data from COVID-19 projects.
In addition, four follow-up sub-programmes were launched:
- Vaccination: optimal use of COVID-19 vaccines. Eight projects were funded on vaccination in immunocompromised patients and a webinar series on COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients was launched.
- Therapeutics: improve the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. We developed calls in collaboration with the Federation of Medical Specialists and GPs, using matchmaking meetings between interested parties to develop consortia.
- Recovery and long COVID. We launched calls on pathophysiology, interventions and guideline development.
- Health Research after disasters. A call was launched to assess the impact of COVID-19 on children and ZonMw are still running a similar call on adolescents, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
The four sub-programmes have received approximately €92M in funding and are on-going. In total, ZonMw has funded 31 large and 26 smaller projects.
In 2022, ZonMw will continue our work:
- Monitoring projects and ensuring implementation of results
- Launching further calls and trajectories for our four sub-programmes
- Developing a subprogramme on epidemiology and transmission
- Collaborating with the EU on Horizon Europe Coordination and Support Action (CSA) on pandemic preparedness