GloPID-R reports vibrant scientific activity in the first half of 2024

The first half of 2024 has been a rich period of scientific activity for our funders’ alliance. As the Head of the GloPID-R Research & Policy Team, I am pleased to highlight some key areas of progress across several GloPID-R initiatives.

The launch of Pandemic PACT on March 20 was the outcome of years of collaborative effort, culminating in an exciting and successful event co-organised with the Pandemic Sciences Institute (PSI) at the University of Oxford, from where we lead the programme. The policy and member engagement in the launch event was remarkable, and I would like to personally thank all of those who contributed to reaching this milestone as well as the funders who made the programme possible.

The launch of the tool was timely. As Pandemic PACT shifts into action mode, we can witness in real time the difference it makes in the quality of GloPID-R’s evidence-base for guidance in outbreaks.  Over the years, the Research & Policy Team has provided several briefs to members on infectious disease outbreaks. The quality of these briefs can be much stronger now that Pandemic PACT is up and running and members can explore the data on the tool. The tool’s dedicated website was recently enhanced with the addition of a section on Outbreaks and a specific page devoted to the current mpox outbreak. I urge our members to continue to make their data available to ensure mapping using the Pandemic PACT tool is as complete as possible.

A special session was devoted to the mpox response during the Africa Hub Stakeholders Meeting on May 6-7 in Cape Town. The Africa Hub has led the recent efforts to support coordination of research relating to the mpox epidemic with support from Pandemic PACT. This support included mapping of the active research landscape to help inform action in alignment with the priorities identified locally and globally for mpox.

Today the Research & Policy Team are supporting the Data Sharing Working Group in spearheading the organization of the Data Sharing Roundtable series, which is driving implementation of our Roadmap for Data Sharing, first published in 2019. We have asked members to share their experiences so we can identify and discuss areas of best practice and weak implementation. This series of three roundtables, organized from May to September 2024, aims to improve implementation tools to support data sharing practices across the membership.

An area where close collaboration with our membership and the clinical trials research community has produced important results is the GloPID-R Funders Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination. For their work on the Roadmap, the Research & Policy team were selected as finalists for the Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, from among 1,500 nominees. I am proud of this recognition for our commitment and dedication to engage and collaborate with funders, researchers and policymakers through the development of the Roadmap. The team presented the Roadmap during the University of Oxford Awards Showcase and were invited to a special ceremony where the winners were announced on May 8.

Another pillar project that is picking up speed is the Coordinated Funding initiative. Named the ‘Global Research Improving Pandemic Preparedness (GRIPP)’, it is designed to add value to GloPID-R members’ individual funding schemes. Several member organizations have expressed interest in joining a first call in 2024, which will focus on the theme of supporting the clinical trial ecosystem.

For our members and for the broader funders’ community, the progress we are observing across these many important initiatives is being bolstered and overseen by the New GloPID-R Board. As I look forward to the continued progress and valuable outputs of GloPID-R’s scientific activity, I know we can count on the experience and expertise of the new Board to support our work for the benefit of GloPID-R’s members, observers and other stakeholders, and the broader funders’ community.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to Barbara Kerstiëns, who retired from the Board on June 1, 2024. In her capacity as the ex officio representative of our funder, the European Commission, she has been a true advocate of GloPID-R and devoted member of the Board. We shall miss her and wish Barbara success and fulfilment in her future projects.

Wishing all of you a restful and enjoyable summer.

Alice Norton
Head of the GloPID-R Research & Policy Team
Principal Investigator for Pandemic PACT
Head of the PSI Policy and Practice Research Group

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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.