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Coronavirus developments at a glance—14 May

Europe confirms Covid-19 R&D boost plans while UK labs prepare for returning researchers

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed rumours that the revised 2021-27 EU budget proposal her team is working on in response to Covid-19 will seek to bolster the bloc’s next R&D programme, Horizon Europe.

Leaders of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology have approved the allocation of €60 million to a crisis-response initiative, which will fund innovations both related and unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic, the institute announced on 14 May.

UK universities and laboratories are preparing to make their facilities safe for researchers to return as the government announced an easing of lockdown restrictions this week.

The challenge of “levelling up” the regions of the UK is likely to be even more important as the country emerges from the Covid-19 crisis and looks to rebuild the economy, a report from the Campaign for Science and Engineering has suggested.

Universities should try to build a more balanced student body to “weather future shocks to the system” rather than relying on international students from a few countries, a researcher has said.

A group of veterinary bodies has pleaded with universities minister Michelle Donelan to leave veterinary degree courses out of a student numbers cap for next year.

Research needs to be a core part of Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a number of leading continental policymakers have said.

Universities in South Africa have embarked on a study to examine the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy.

The University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has announced that it is seeking volunteers for a study to test the efficacy of quick-turnaround Covid-19 test kits.