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€128m for EU R&D on Covid-19 ‘pressing needs’ and impacts

Project aims include better understanding effects of pandemic on vulnerable and marginalised groups

The European Commission has now signed grant agreements totalling €128 million for research to address the “pressing needs and the socio-economic impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic, it announced on 5 November.

Funding will go to 23 projects selected in August, involving 344 research teams from 39 countries. Teams will address areas including prevention and treatment, how industry can better manufacture medical equipment, and better understanding the societal impact of the pandemic, for example its effects on “vulnerable and marginalised” groups.

EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel said the investment would help the bloc “react more quickly to prevent contagion, improve diagnosis and treatment, and take better mitigation measures that take into account behavioural, social and economic aspects, including gender-related issues”.

The funding comes from the EU R&D programme, Horizon 2020. It is part of the Commission’s €1.4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, launched by Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in May.