The corona crisis is slowly moving from a short-term emergency into an unwelcome, but lasting presence in our daily lives. As we continue to balance the pandemic measures with our daily activities, we may have to accept the fact that the virus will never be totally defeated. Unlike a monster from antiquity slain by a brave and all-encompassing hero, COVID-19 may become something that will rear its ugly head from time to time.
Increasing Levels of Anxiety
As the restrictions imposed test our social and economic resilience, levels of anxiety and dissatisfaction increase and politicians are increasingly held accountable for their actions. In our personal lives too, tensions are high. For example, France’s equality secretary indicated that reports of domestic violence had risen by a third in a single week as a result of lockdown measures, and the WHO reported a 60% increase in domestic violence against women, amongst others as a result of the pandemic measures. In the light of such revelations, the “Stay safe, stay home” mantra leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Five New Calls Published by Horizon 2020
That needs are high, is clear. That we should do something about this, is clear too. Now, let us find a way to do it. The five new calls published by EU funding instrument HORIZON 2020 are aimed to do exactly that:
- Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment.
- Medical technologies, digital tools, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL).
- Behavioural, social, and economic impacts of the outbreak response.
- Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts.
- Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19.
These five calls specifically aim to tackle the social and economic dimensions of the impacts of the pandemic measures across Europe. Gender-related dimensions of (health) inequalities heightened by the virus are explicitly put on the agenda, as is the reallocation of production lines in response to sudden peaks in demand for strategic products, such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). As always, (pan-)European collaboration is strongly encouraged, as is the generation of data from various EU member and associated states. This way, we can learn together from the developments, successes, and mistakes made across countries.
Deadline 11 June – Rapic Action Required
As with everything related to this virus, the incentive is to act quickly. The new HORIZON 2020 calls are no exception: Published on May 10, the calls will already close on June 11, so rapid action is required. Do you have an innovative idea that demands a streamlined project definition, or do you need help to prepare your application? We would be glad to help you. More information, both about the five HORIZON 2020 calls and the services we offer, are available via our website.