30 March 2020 | Tiffany Hionas

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.

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Uncertainty over timescale of the 'Green Deal'

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission is reordering its priorities, and initiatives, including the biodiversity and the farm-to-fork strategies to a later date. 

However, some members of the European parliament argue that moving forward with the Green Deal will be important for the post-coronavirus economic stimulus. This deal will redefine how businesses invest, restructuring and modernising economies, which will be vital for the economic recovery once the peak of the crisis is over. 

Vivian Loonnela, EU Commission spokesperson for the European Green Deal, said ‘The long-term work on the Green Deal continues in parallel to the fight against the coronavirus and continues to be one of the priorities as well.’


UK pledges an extra £210M

Following a recent G20 virtual meeting, the UK announced it would be committing an extra £210 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), making it the biggest contributor to finding a COVID-19 vaccine. 

CEPI is backing initial clinical testing of eight vaccine programmes around the world. CEPI Chief Executive, Richard Hatchett said he was ‘incredibly grateful’ for the UK’s large donation. 

The UK called for other nations to find more money to invest towards the vaccine research. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, ‘My call to every G20 country and to governments around the world is to step up and help us defeat this virus.’  

EU leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel are now promising to invest more time and effort in finding adequate funding to help with the development and deployment of a Covid-19 vaccine.

 Coronavirus earth

UK consortium will monitor spread of coronavirus 

 On the 23rd March, the Government and the UK’s Scientific Adviser announced that they would be backing leading UK scientists who will be taking part in a major new genome sequencing consortium mapping the spread of Covid-19. The UK consortium which includes the NHS, Public Health England, UKRI, and Wellcome, will allow scientists to monitor changes in the virus on a national scale to understand how it is spread and whether different strains are emerging. This will involve looking at the whole virus genome in people who are tested positive with Covid-19. 


Read more here






Calls for evidence

Deadline: 24 April 2020

Deadline: 01 May 2020

Deadline: 30 April 2020

Funding competitions

Apply for a share of £20 million which has been made available for novel coronavirus research  

Deadline: 22 April 2020

Apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations.

Deadline: 01 July 2020

Applicants are invited to spend up to 36 months (full or part time) on secondment in the biomedical sciences sector.

Deadline: 13 May 2020

Apply for funding in innovation projects across 3 streams. 

Deadline: 15 April 2020

Apply for a share of up to £4 million for collaborative R&D projects addressing major cyber security challenges.

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