IMI and the coronavirus pandemic: unprecedented rapid response to meet an unprecedented public need
Background: the IMI COVID-19 Call for proposals
On 3 March 2020, IMI launched a Call for proposals in response to the outbreak of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The fast-tracked Call was a response to a sudden disease outbreak of enormous consequence to public health, and we are proud of the speed with which we leapt into action.
On 12 May 2020, we announced the 8 projects that were selected as a result of the Call.
The 8 selected projects that resulted from the Call
- Article - Widespread testing will pave the road to recovery - as long as we can trust the results
- Article - ACE2 and COVID-19: studying the Achilles’ heel of the coronavirus
- Article - Lab results show novel drug combo fights SARS-COV-2 on two fronts
- Article - Could artificial intelligence help to diagnose COVID-19? IMI’s DRAGON project thinks so
Video: Pierre Meulien, IMI Executive Director, talks about the response to the Call
The context: pandemic preparedness, needed more than ever
We can see how the emergence of COVID-19 fits into a larger context; every year, viruses jump from animals to the human population. This is well known. The scientific community needs to be ready to respond regardless of where the next virus comes from. IMI had already been funding research that better prepares the world for this new normal before the outbreak of COVID-19.
As IMI Director Pierre Meulien noted in March 2020, "there’s nothing unexpected about the emergence of these epidemics. Even though the exact source of COVID-19 has not been confirmed, we can already see how it fits into a larger context; the equilibrium between humans and the natural world is being upended. Just like climate change is likely behind extreme weather events, so deforestation, mass industrialisation and a growing population are the backdrop to the emergence and spread of diseases like COVID-19."
What else is IMI doing? The other IMI projects contributing to the response
A number of IMI’s projects are making valuable contributions to the global effort to tackle COVID-19. The contributions include knowledge, tools and expertise, and while some come from projects in the infectious disease field, projects working in other areas, such as data management and Alzheimer’s disease, are also stepping up to the plate.
Video: IMI is public, private, prepared
The IMI coronavirus call factsheet