The novel corona virus causing COVID-19 overwhelmed Europe and the world in just a few weeks’ time. Small and Medium-sized Entrerprises (SMEs are put at very high risk by the slowdown or shutdown of economic life in their countries – exactly those companies who ensure the development of innovative solutions urgently required for counteracting the impacts of COVID-19 and for helping to control possible future outbreaks alike. In view of this situation, accelerated uptake of innovative technologies to tackle COVID-19 is most needed. In order to give an efficient and fast answer to this challenging situation, we propose building an Innovation Hub for the addressed technologies: an innovative open access platform to offer companies and reference laboratories the capabilities, expertise, networks and services required for the assessment, development, prototyping, testing, scaling-up, pilot production and market exploitation of innovative technologies to tackle COVID-19 pandemic. This approach will be based in the Open Innovation Test Beds (OITBs) concept, to incorporate lessons learned from those Innovation Actions, reducing time for putting in place such HUB and ensuring its successful implementation for a swift impact to the current situation. Our approach will include leading applied research and innovation centers in Europe, together with entities specialized in building OITBs, and reference clinical sites.
INNO4COV19 will provide funding to third parties to help them achieve the desired objectives. Presence of leading applied research EU institutions in the Consortium will help to obtain a huge impact and to find and attract innovators across Europe to offer new solutions for COVID-19 pandemic and other potential future outbreaks. Europe needs to reinforce its technological leadership and rebuild an industrial sector capable to protect our citizen’s safety and well-being, and INNO4COV-19 will help in catalyzing the change.
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