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UK-China research commitment to tackle coronavirus pandemic

National funders commit to ‘mobilise, coordinate and align funding’ as well as share research findings

UK Research and Innovation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China have made a joint commitment to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement published on 12 March, the funders promised to “mobilise, coordinate and align funding” to address urgent priorities for research, including diagnostics, disease prevention and containment, and predictions of how the disease will spread.

They also committed to ensuring research findings and data relevant to the outbreak are “shared rapidly and openly to inform the public health response, reassure the public, and enable rational evidence-based decisions to be made in the fight against the epidemic”.

The statement also includes a commitment to promote communication and openness by engaging in international academic exchanges, sharing research outcomes, and providing a “source of wisdom for global research, prevention and control of the epidemic”.

In addition, they committed to adopting a long-term perspective by strengthening international collaboration and research in areas such as epidemiology, virology and emergency management.

“Tackling coronavirus requires a huge effort from all countries which is why the UK is bringing together the global scientific community to speed up the development of vaccines and treatments,” said the UK science minister Amanda Solloway.

Li Jinghai, president of the NSFC, added that the joint statement “fully demonstrates our strategic and trustworthy partnership built upon our long-term close collaboration”.

“We look forward to joining forces to support research communities in both countries to work together contributing to the containment of Covid-19,” he said.