Research and Innovation Action on COVID-19

Research and Innovation Action on COVID-19

Failure to translate research findings into policy and practice prevents research from achieving maximum public health benefit.

Despite substantial investment by public and private partners in the development of new prophylactics, diagnostics and treatments of poverty-related diseases (PRDs), these interventions may not reach their target populations or be used to their full potential.

This is particularly the case in resource-poor settings such as sub-Saharan Africa, where health systems are either weak or not adequately prepared for the delivery and uptake of new or improved products and interventions and the monitoring of their effectiveness, safety and adherence.

Therefore, concerted efforts by multiple stakeholders are needed to maximise the uptake of new or improved products and interventions in order to ensure that these innovations achieve their full potential in real-life clinical and community settings.

Scope
The purpose of this call for proposals on  Research and Innovation Action on COVID-19  is to support distinct strategic actions which are part of a large-scale programme of development cooperation actions. Projects should focus on research to maximise the uptake of products and health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa.

This may include actions to: enhance the uptake of research findings or products and interventions; provide evidence to translate findings into policy guidelines and clinical practice; improve implementation, delivery and roll-out of interventions to increase population coverage, acceptability and adherence; improve the monitoring of product safety post-marketing and surveillance; pragmatic clinical trials evaluating interventions under real-world clinical care settings.

The projects should be implemented in conjunction with development cooperation initiatives that are supported by national and/or international development cooperation initiatives and/or other funders, including relevant WHO initiatives where appropriate.*

Due to the extraordinary global crisis of COVID-19 that is also affecting African countries, this topic should also be considered by applicants.

Applications from multidisciplinary consortia involving public and/or private legal entities are particularly encouraged. The study(ies), which may be interventional or non-interventional in design and which must take place in sub-Saharan Africa, should be presented in detail and with clear justification for the proposed methodology and approach.

Community engagement in design and implementation of the study(ies) is highly encouraged. Proposals must include a clear, credible plan of the pathway to achieve clinical practice and policy change or increase the uptake within a defined timeline. The proposals must relate to products, technologies or concepts that are already licensed, commercialised or otherwise approved.

Proposals should leverage major support from other funders and must present the large-scale programme of actions in its entirety and clearly describe: the actions in the large-scale programme for which EDCTP2 funding is requested; the actions to be supported by other funders; and how the financing from other funders is ensured.

The large-scale programme of actions must be of a sufficient scale and ambition to justify EDCTP2 support in combination with financial (cash or in-kind) support from other funders. Ideally, at least half the cost of the large-scale programme of actions should be supported by funders other than the EDCTP Association, such as national and/or international development cooperation initiatives and/or other funders (such as EDCTP2 Participating States, relevant WHO initiatives or other third parties), in order to ensure complementarity and increase the impact of the results of EDCTP2-funded activities. The action should start no later than 1 October 2021 and must be completed before the end of 2024.

Expected impact
Projects funded under this call for proposals should:

  • Enhance the sustainable implementation, coverage, availability, accessibility, acceptability and effectiveness of products and interventions in endemic areas in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Contribute to change in policy and clinical practice at the national, regional and/or international level
  • Increase collaboration with development partners, including increasing leverage of funding from development cooperation initiatives
  • Contribute to the achievement of SDG3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’
  • Contribute towards the reduction of the burden of PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Proposals that leverage major support from other funders, in particular financial contributions from national and/or international development cooperation initiatives will be considered to have a higher impact.

Eligibility
A proposal/application will only be considered eligible if:

  1. its content corresponds, wholly or in part, to the topic/contest description for which it is submitted
  2. it complies with the eligibility conditions for participation set out below, depending on the type of action:
    • At least three legal entities. Two of the legal entities shall be established in two different Participating States (European Partner States)** and one of the legal entities must be established in a sub-Saharan African*** country. All three legal entities must be independent of each other.
    • ‘Sole participants’ formed by several legal entities (e.g. European Research Infrastructure Consortia, European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation, central purchasing bodies) are eligible if the above-mentioned minimum conditions are satisfied by the legal entities forming together the sole participant.

***The following sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Democratic People’s Republic), Congo (Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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