GloPID-R: Making the rapid research response to COVID-19 possible

Never before have the international research community, funders and public health institutions worldwide worked as closely together as in the weeks following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which started in Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China, and spread rapidly beyond.

The unprecedented levels of cooperation between research funding agencies and this dynamic research response have been made possible thanks to GloPID-R, their members and the immediate and on-going coordination with WHO

In order to implement an innovative response to this new disease outbreak and to curb its impact, international coordination and rapid investment in research are vital. A better understanding of the virus is crucial for the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as for ensuring optimal patient care and preventing extensive transmission, all essential parts of the response to decrease the burden of the disease.  When COVID-19 struck, GloPID-R immediately mobilized its members and partners and, alongside WHO, organized key discussions to pinpoint research gaps, to identify and set research priorities and to select rapid research projects. GloPID-R member funding organisations have responded to this emergency and have already committed to rapid research funding totaling many millions of euros.

GloPID-R Chair Prof. Yazdan Yazdanpanah confirms “GloPID-R’s role is unique: we ensure our member funding aligns with the research priorities set by WHO-Blueprint scientists, we use our knowledge of what is funded and where gaps exist to direct new funding to where it is most needed. We thereby strengthen investment synergy and increase the impact of research funding to tackle the disease across the globe.”

As the COVID-19 outbreak, which now affects more than 140 countries, evolves, GloPID-R, in coordination with WHO, continues its work; leading cooperation, alignment and action, coordinating funders and international researchers. It will organize key consultations in the future to maintain this high level of international collaboration.

This work is essential to combat COVID-19 today but will also serve to improve global preparedness and cooperation in public health emergencies and will undoubtedly save lives in future events.

GloPID-R is a global alliance of international research funding organizations investing in preparedness and response to epidemics.

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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.