Open calls for research and innovation to combat the threat of COVID-19 variants

DEADLINE: 06 May 2021

The European Commission is mobilising €123 million from Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, for urgent research into COVID-19 variants.

This first emergency funding adds to a range of EU-funded research and innovation actions to fight COVID-19, and contributes to the Commission's overall action to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impact of COVID-19 variants, in line with the new European bio-defence preparedness plan HERA Incubator.


In February, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the start of a European bio-defence preparedness plan, the HERA Incubator, aimed at preparing Europe for increased threats posed by COVID-19 variants. The HERA Incubator will bring together science, industry, and public authorities, and leverage all available resources to enable Europe to respond to this challenge.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Commission has been at the forefront of supporting research and innovation, and coordinating European and global research efforts, including preparedness for pandemics. It has pledged €1.4 billion to the Coronavirus Global Response, of which €1 billion comes from Horizon 2020, the previous EU research and innovation programme.

Four new open calls

Several new special calls announced under Horizon Europe complement these earlier actions to fight COVID-19.

Current open calls are:

  1. FAIR and open data sharing in support to European preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases;
  2. Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics;
  3. Vaccines and therapeutic clinical trials to boost COVID-19 prevention and treatment;
  4. Cohorts united against COVID-19 variants of concern.

The deadline for these open calls is 6 May.

Find out more here.

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