As we make progress on our priorities, let’s strengthen coordination

As we begin 2023, I would like to wish an excellent year to each of our members and much success for our endeavors together. Looking at our funders’ alliance today, I see clear signs that we are making progress on many of GloPID-R’s key priorities.

Charles Shey Wiysonge, GloPID-R Co-Chair

As most of you know, the GloPID-R Secretariat is in the midst of a period of transition and growth. With the renewed support of the European Commission through to the end of 2025, the transfer to the Charité Center for Global Health (Universitätsmedizin Berlin) is in full swing. At the same time, GloPID-R´s Research & Policy Team based at the University of Oxford’s Pandemic Sciences Institute is expanding to drive the development of Pandemic PACT and to continue providing scientific and policy support for our members and activities.

The year ahead will be an important one for the roll-out of GloPID-R’s regional hub strategy. As a Senior Director at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), I am proud to be working with my team alongside the GloPID-R Secretariat to establish the African Regional Hub. To fund the first 12 months of this new hub, GloPID-R received an EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) grant funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care. In September 2022, we were delighted to host members of the GloPID-R Research & Policy Team and Central Secretariat who travelled to Cape Town for a successful initial meeting. Today we are taking steps to translate our strategy into action. A regional advisory group of GloPID-R members on the African continent is being established, and we are planning the official kick-off meeting for August 2023.

This issue of the Newsletter features an article about the Asia Pacific regional conference in South Korea. It is essential to improve future preparedness and response capacity in this area of the globe, which is especially vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases. For our future Latin American Regional Hub, we are talking to our partners in the region to begin planning activities. I look forward to hearing more from them as they take on an increasingly active role in GloPID-R initiatives.

Another area where we are advancing rapidly is in the development of practical tools to deliver resources that promise to be extremely useful to funders, researchers and policymakers. Read the latest news about Pandemic PACT, a program to develop an agile new tool to collate and analyze global funding data. To strengthen clinical trial coordination, the Funders’ Living Roadmap is being finalized and readied for launch. As chair of the GloPID-R Research in LMICs Working Group, I am pleased to announce that the Research Prioritization Sub-group’s findings will soon be published in a major general medical journal. Also coming up in March 2023 is the publication of the 10th and final iteration of the Living Mapping Review of COVID-19 funded research projects, one of the key outputs of the joint UKCDR/GloPID-R COVID CIRCLE initiative.

All of these collaborative projects illustrate the power of working together and building knowledge as well as tools and guidance to support evidence-based research funding decisions. They help improve preparedness to respond to outbreaks.

In 2023, while continuing to make strides on our main priorities, including the concrete plans underway to develop a coordinated funding platform, we naturally face challenges. As GloPID-R continues its journey from a convening to an enabling alliance, offering practical mechanisms for joint action, we need to ensure that our funders’ coalition strengthens its organizational capacity to successfully deliver on its ambitious plans.

I believe we have the vision, the people and the resources to tackle the challenges ahead. What will this require? Among other things, strong coordination and the engagement of our members to continue to build on what we have accomplished. As we embark on a new year of encounters and exchanges, let us do everything we can to foster and strengthen these valuable connections.

Charles Shey Wiysonge
GloPID-R Co-Chair

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.