As recently stated on a European Commission news, the Commission presented last 17th of February a Communication for a proposed European bio-defence programme called “HERA Incubator“. This programme would address the emerging threat of coronavirus variants, especially through massive research investments as well as mobilising an additional €30 million from Horizon 2020 to be complemented by a further €120 million from Horizon Europe.

Through this new programme, the goal is to be able to detect and counter further coronavirus mutations and ensure wide access to effective vaccines when a new variant or a new virus has emerged.

In addition, Horizon 2020 funding will support the development of VACCELERATE, a EU-wide vaccine trial network as well as boosting capacities to track, analyse and share data regarding virus variants by reinforcing the European COVID-19 Data Platform.

During the online signature of the grant agreement between the VACCELERATE consortium representatives and the European Commission, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, declared:

Research and innovation continue to be crucial in fighting the continuing challenges of this pandemic. The Hera Incubator and the reinforcement of European infrastructures and networks, supported by additional funding from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, will help us deal with any variants and be better prepared for future outbreaks.

If you want to learn more about the HERA Incubator, please visit the European Commission website here.