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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 20-26 June

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

An innovation-based recovery from Covid-19 must avoid the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis, which saw richer areas and industries recover better and faster than poorer ones, according to the innovation charity Nesta. This came as a Royal Academy of Engineering survey suggested an immediate risk to business R&D after Covid-19 that required “urgent government intervention.

The University and College Union in Scotland said it was “wrong” for the Scottish government to allow university staff to go back to work on 22 June before official workplace guidance had been published. But universities will need to drastically change the way they have worked for centuries to thrive in a post-coronavirus world, the incoming chair of the Russell Group told a conference.

UK Research and Innovation has sought to reassure PhD students about the support it is providing during the Covid-19 pandemic following a huge backlash from the postgraduate community.

The future of charity-funded medical research is at “significant risk” as a result of the pandemic if it does not receive financial support from the government, a group of charities has warned.

The European Association of Research Managers and Administrators and the European Commission have both announced that their major 2020 research conferences will be held virtually due to the ongoing restrictions caused by Covid-19.

The European Commission has proposed a €166.7 billion EU budget for 2021, as well as about €211bn in grants and €133bn in loans under Next Generation EU, a pandemic recovery instrument.

The KfW, a German public bank, will purchase part of a biotechnology company called CureVac, which is developing a promising vaccine candidate to prevent coronavirus. And a network of 24 medical societies has urged the German government to implement social distancing rules in a fair, uniform and evidence-based way to ensure the public will follow them.

Billions of rand have been cut from the ministry of higher education, science and technology as a result of the pandemic, the South African government has announced. And the country has embarked on its first clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine

A group of Australian universities has developed a joint position statement to address the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on female science academics and researchers.

New Zealand
The government must develop a post-pandemic economic investment strategy that is “astute and ecologically smart” or risk failure and financial loss, one of New Zealand’s most influential academics has said.

Researchers modelling the coronavirus pandemic are not sufficiently transparent about their uncertainties and are too precise in their claims, according to a group of international science policy experts.