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Innovative approaches to enhance poverty-related diseases research in sub-Saharan Africa

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has established itself as the focal point of cooperation in clinical research on infectious disease between the EU and sub-Saharan Africa. To continue these investments after the last calls of the EDCTP2 programme, there is a need to further support research on the major infectious disease threats facing sub-Saharan Africa. Despite large-scale investments in product development for poverty-related infectious diseases (PRDs), progress in achieving public health gain is slow, while sub-Saharan Africa bears the highest burden of these diseases. There is a need to support product development and to encourage the use of new, innovative approaches and emerging technologies in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve rapid progress and impact. The COVID-19 pandemic is generating novel knowledge that could also advance prevention, treatment or diagnosis of PRDs in this part of the world.

Proposals should address all of the following:

  • Any PRD disease or group of PRDs affecting sub-Saharan Africa (within the scope of EDCTP2[[https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014D0556&from=GA ]] or the proposed EDCTP3 and its draft strategic research and innovation agenda[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/research_and_innovation/funding/documents/edctp3_draft_proposal_14_august_2020.pdf]]).
  • Combine health technologies with other scientific areas such as mobile technologies and digital technologies (mHealth and eHealth), big data processing, and other emerging technologies.
  • Implement one or more medium-scale clinical trials and/or clinical research studies that can deliver the proof-of-concept or validate smart, highly innovative health technologies or concepts to prevent, treat or diagnose PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing lessons from the COVID-19 experience.
  • Increase collaboration with investors in development cooperation and international partnerships to create solutions for improved development or delivery of medical interventions for vulnerable populations in low-resource settings.
  • Proposals involving pharmaceutical companies and small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged.
  • Develop solutions that are easily integrated or linked to existing electronic or digital systems that are used in the implementation of clinical research and health systems’ patient management.
  • Include activities that promote collaboration with ongoing and future EDCTP projects. In this context the granting authority may share project-relevant information with the EDCTP Association and the future EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking.
  • Promote the integration of research work and health care service delivery.