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Demonstration of novel concepts for the management of pandemic crises

In 2014 an exploratory phase was called for (in DRS4 of the 2014 Call in Societal Challenge 7) to address the feasibility of strengthening capacity-building for health and security protection in case of large-scale pandemics (phase 1). The resulting project has issued a range of recommendations for research gaps to be addressed in priority. It has also proposed innovative concepts to integrate better the existing tools and systems for health and security protection in case of large-scale pandemics, taking into account potential impacts of climate change.

All these recommendations and proposals will be made public on the portal of the Call in due time.

Demonstrations are now required to assess these novel concepts, in support of cross-border emergency approaches (phase 2), to strengthen preparedness and response to pandemics (including the detection of disease outbreaks that could lead to pandemics), in line with Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats to health[[]] and the International Health Regulations (WHO, 2005)[[]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Large-scale pandemics constitute an ever growing threat in today's globalized society, given the increasing flows of goods and people among continents. This challenge ought to be addressed internationally, and with the involvement of a large variety of practitioners and stakeholders, from planners in national health systems, to first responders. The Horizon 2020 work programme separately includes an EIC Horizon Prize for 'Early Warning for Epidemics' that is relevant for preparedness and response specifically to vector-borne disease outbreaks.

Short term:

  • Novel concepts for health and security protection in the case of large-scale pandemics, validated by international organisations and a large number of EU Member States including a commitment to sharing these novel concepts.
  • A prototype IT system integrating innovative tools, and supporting existing emergency frameworks.
  • An operational strategy for implementation of the concepts and IT system supporting cross-border preparedness and crisis management, and demonstrated in situ.