The Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research
As the COVID-19 pandemic is gradually easing and containment measures are being lifted with a view to entering the recovery phase, it is time to take stock on the achievements reached through the Manifesto initiative and reflect on how to make best use of the lessons learned.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, research was of the utmost importance for finding healthcare solutions which could be rapidly deployed by partnering with those with available capacity.
Developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines, diagnostics and treatments worldwide and ensuring that they are available and affordable for all represents a crucial approach that has been upheld by key actors both at the EU and international levels.
In line with UN Resolution 74/56 of 8 April 2020 and World Health Assembly Resolution 73.1 of 19 May 2020, the European Commission published the Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research in July 2020.
The Manifesto is a policy statement addressed to beneficiaries of EU research grants providing guiding principles to ensure that the research results are made available in a timely and affordable manner to guarantee the highest potential impact in the fight against COVID-19.
The Manifesto’s endorsers
The adhesion to the Manifesto was voluntary and did not entail legal implications for signed grants. More than 650 organisations (including universities, research institutes and private companies) and more than 1800 individuals endorsed the Manifesto from all over Europe and beyond. The Manifesto also generated a high level of engagement from SMEs (more than 170 SMEs endorsements).
Full list of endorsers
Feedback from the Manifesto’s endorsers
In March 2022, all Manifesto endorsers (over 2500) were encouraged to share their experience and insights on concrete actions undertaken with regard to the Manifesto by participating in a dedicated survey, which ran from 1 March until 8 April 2022.
The responses to the survey reveal that the Manifesto proved to be beneficial in various ways:
- endorsement of worldwide collaboration and joint activities
- public justification – the endorsement of the Manifesto was used in speaking engagements as well as in endorsers’ websites to strengthen and further support the data sharing activity
- the Manifesto was used as an instrument to facilitate interdisciplinary research with molecular researchers on COVID-19 and its impact on the brain
- the Manifesto allowed the creation a community of researchers, making an organisation feel embedded in a network
Signatories undertook concrete actions in line with the Manifesto approach, including setting up and contributing to data sharing repositories (including open access databases) and drafting publications (available in open access sources), all in view of the broader sharing of their own research results.
Inspired by the Manifesto’s experience and other similar voluntary-based approaches taken by various stakeholders during the pandemic, the Commission, DG Research and Innovation will explore the applicability of such voluntary and open-license initiatives to foster access and use of intellectual assets – including IP - for other pressing societal needs or emergencies.
These voluntary approaches facilitate the faster uptake of results and the delivery of solutions tackling issues beyond health, including i.e. climate change and energy crisis.
The voluntary approaches will be showcased through an expert workshop that the Commission is planning for autumn 2023. The workshop will provide insights on the recent European and international policy developments for improving access and sharing of research results, showcase best practices for improving access and sharing of intellectual assets, gather feedback on challenges and opportunities, and explore what can be done in the future in this regard.
Share your experience
Did you or your organisation endorse the Manifesto? Did you take concrete action to facilitate the sharing and access to intellectual assets in response of the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your successful experience on the Knowledge Valorisation Platform.
You are also invited to share your experience and best practices in the expert workshop on voluntary approaches for improving access and sharing of intellectual assets.
Express your interest in being a speaker at the 2023 workshop by sending an email to RTD-VALORISATION-POLICIES-IPR@ec.europa.eu