GLOPID-R

Newsletter

October 2021

Focus on the GloPID-R SAG Report and Co-Chair Recommendations

I am pleased to introduce the Fall issue of the Newsletter, which features a special focus on the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) Report. By now all of our members have had a chance to discover this important report, COVID-19 Research Recommendations & Considerations for GloPID-R 2021-2023, and the Co-Chairs’ Recommendations that accompany it.

A huge brainstorming session is how I would describe the deliberations of the SAG, which I participated in. When GloPID-R’s leadership undertook this project in early 2021, we did so in the context of an ongoing pandemic caused by an emerging infectious disease. As a consortium of funders, we wanted to know from a funders’ perspective where to go next. The Oxford Saïd Business School scenario-planning team guided us in an innovative methodology that stimulated our thinking, and we devoted many hours to creating and exploring these scenarios to discover what insights they would bring.

I would emphasize that the report resulting from our work is not a decision. It is not a means to an end. It is more like the start of a conversation.

What did we learn? First, we confirmed our intuition that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic there were numerous research initiatives requiring funding and they were not at all interconnected. Nationalism was extremely powerful during this time. Our problem was, and remains, how to create that connection, that essential link.

Funders have power, of course, but they need to work together to harness that power, and this is where coordination becomes vital. Another finding that clearly emerged was the need for coordination at the regional level, via regional platforms, with a strong focus on LMICs. This has now become part of GloPID-R’s strategy.

For many years, even before the pandemic, our leadership had been discussing ways to ensure a more even distribution of funding among the research projects that funders invest in, and here GloPID-R has a unique role to play. The pandemic has confirmed that a mechanism built on the model of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) is one of the paths we can follow to improve coordination, and to translate our ambitions into action.

We also confirmed the importance of aligning our efforts with WHO. All too often the major funding bodies work in isolation, and our goal – which we share with WHO – is to bring them together and keep them talking. This addresses funding gaps and the tendency for too many funders to invest in the same areas of research.

Ultimately the SAG report is a roadmap. It provides direction in a complex landscape. I hope the SAG’s work will serve to engage our members. I encourage you to use it, and see where it takes you as you consider what you can do to improve the coordination of funding.

Kind regards,

Yazdan Yazdanpanah
GloPID-R Co-Chair

Focus on the SAG Report

In their own words...

A great deal of work by many dedicated individuals went into developing the SAG Report. Three of the participants share their insights on the experience and the outcome.

Rafael Ramírez

“Using the Oxford Scenario Planning Approach (OSPA), we explored how the future might unfold over the next ten years to 2030, building bespoke scenarios that best described these future worlds. We were then able to look back from the year 2030, equipped with the insights that had been generated, to assess what COVID19 and Infectious Disease funding priorities might be most useful to society in the future.”

Rafael Ramírez
Professor of Practice, Saïd Business School & Green-Templeton College, University of Oxford

Dr. Moses Alobo

“Here GloPID-R provides a clear strategy to interact with and improve coordination across the meta-organization of funders, such as access to COVID-19 tools, accelerator therapeutics, diagnostics, and global surveillance. The proposed moon shot projects can potentially change the course of this and future pandemics if implemented with regimental precision.”

Dr. Moses Alobo
African Academy of Sciences, SAG Member

Steven Hoffman

“This GloPID-R report emphasizes how social sciences research is desperately needed to better understand the root social drivers of pandemics like COVID-19 and to address their devastatingly inequitable consequences.”

Dr. Steven Hoffman
CIHR, SAG Member

The key role of the GloPID-R Scientific Secretariat

The Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) Report represents a major accomplishment for GloPID-R and an important tool for all funders of COVID-19 and related research as they make key decisions over the next two years.

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Co-Chairs Recommendations provide guidance for members and help engage the global funders community

When the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) completed its work in May 2021, the GloPID-R Co-Chairs met to carefully consider its findings and draw up recommendations for members based on the SAG Report.

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GloPID-R news

GloPID-R launches network expansion and welcomes new members

In July 2021, GloPID-R welcomed 3 new members: FONRID (Burkina Faso), FONSTI (Cote d’Ivoire) and NCST (Rwanda). All three are participants in the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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ESSENCE on Health Research Initiative becomes GloPID-R Observer

GloPID-R recently welcomed a new observer organization, ESSENCE on Health Research Initiative (WHO/TDR). Bolstering both networks, GloPID-R has also joined ESSENCE as an observer. ESSENCE is an initiative that allows donors/funders to identify synergies, establish coherence and increase the value of resources and action for health research.

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GloPID-R members news

AFROSCREEN: a sequencing capacity-building project to detect and monitor SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging pathogens in Africa

In Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly 6 million people and nearly 150,000 deaths have been reported to date. However, it is difficult to determine whether these figures correctly reflect the epidemiological situation, as virology surveillance is still limited in Africa.

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Two world-leading health experts join CEPI board

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a GloPID-R observer, has announced the appointment of health experts Dr Nísia Trindade Lima and Dr Juan Pablo Uribe to their Board.

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Further vaccine R&D is critical to end the devastating COVID-19 pandemic

By Dr Frederik Kristensen, Deputy CEO, CEPI

Over the course of 2021, the world has witnessed and dramatically benefitted from a game-changing global COVID-19 vaccine response. Over 6 billion doses of multiple safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out to date…

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Updates from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

CIHR, with support from the Government of Canada, continues to respond to emerging COVID-19 research priorities, and recent funding efforts have focused on addressing both the current and long-term impacts of the disease.

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Strength in working together: One year of European and international clinical trial coordination

Updates from the European Commission

An EU-wide network of COVID-19 therapeutic adaptive platform trials was set up early in the summer of 2020. The first meeting of the Trial Coordination Board (TCB), including the coordinators and sponsors of the REMAP-CAP, EU-SolidAct and DisCoVeRy trials, was held in September.

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The New European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority

Updates from the European Commission

On September 16, 2021 the European Commission launched the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to health emergencies.

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Latest news on COVID-19 activities from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

n April 2021, FAPESP launched a second COVID-19 call for proposals, targeted to the scientific community in the state of São Paulo. The aim of this call, which closed in July, was to support short-term research projects on topics relevant to the management and mitigation of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic not covered in the first call.

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Institut Pasteur International network becomes the Pasteur Network

A new, more participatory and balanced system of governance has been introduced for GloPID-R member Institut Pasteur International Network and the association will now be known as the Pasteur Network.

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About new GloPID-R member Rwanda National Council for Science and Technology (NCST)

The Rwanda National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) supports the Government of Rwanda’s vision to address national priorities that uplift the social and economic wellbeing of citizens.

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Wellcome Trust COVID-19 Response Updates

The Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator – which is co-funded and co-hosted by donors including Wellcome – has awarded £8 million to DNDi.

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Combination of vaccination studies involving 9 groups of immunocompromised patients funded by The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

When manufacturers are developing new vaccines, they assess their efficacy mostly in healthy adults. However, people with a compromised immune system are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 infection and their level of protection after vaccination is not yet known.

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Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on InfectiouS disease Emergencies (APPRISE)

APPRISE is an Australia-wide network of experts involved in medical, scientific, public health and ethics research. It is funded by GloPID-R member, the National Health and Medical Research Council. Get up to date with news from the APPRISE network in their latest newsletter.

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Events

European Commission Online Event

Empowering Research & Innovation (R&I) collaboration to respond to the socio-economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic

An online seminar hosted by the European Commission to share knowledge and expertise about the socio-economic challenges of the pandemic will be held on October 14.

The COVID-19 pandemic has mobilised scientific communities across Europe and beyond, sparking a great deal of data exchange and collaborative projects.   

During this event, the EU’s R&I response to the pandemic, calls, funded projects, available tools and new initiatives will be discussed.

Participants, including R&I project leaders, organisations and individuals engaged in research related to COVID-19 will have the opportunity to network and take part in a discussion about collaboration channels and barriers.   

Information will be provided about the Coronavirus Global R&I Collaboration Portal and how it helps to address the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Learn more and register

Learn more about Coronavirus Global R&I Collaboration Portal

Tenth EDCTP Forum: Equity in Research for Health

The tenth EDCTP Forum, the first to be held online, will take place October 17-21, 2021. Attendees working in global health research worldwide will participate in diverse Forum activities.

The event is supported by EDCTP partners the National Institute of Health of Mozambique and the Manhiça Health Research Centre.

Register

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874667.