COVID-19 Pandemic Readiness: Let’s not reinvent the wheel – European Medical Research Infrastructures are part of the global response

The European Commission led a highly successful round of funding for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus. These resources must be used in the most efficient way possible. The best way is via cross-border, multi-sector and multi-disciplinary research collaboration based on existing networks, to reach a scale of partnerships and coordination that has yet to be achieved during the COVID-19 crisis. Medical Research Infrastructures, EATRIS-ERIC, ECRIN-ERIC and BBMRI-ERIC are international organisations whose purpose is to facilitate and manage such international research collaborations.

Governments world-wide are walking a tightrope by seeking to limit economic damage with minimum risk to public health and healthcare systems. Research can and should properly inform policymakers and provide both guidance and practical support. The European Commission, national governments and international organisations have the opportunity to take practical steps to guarantee that the resources put together via the Coronavirus Global Response will be used in the most efficient way to achieve its goals as well as to build resilience and improve our readiness to future outbreaks. To this end, five practical steps or “recommendations” to accelerate COVID-19 research have been identified and presented.