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Research and innovation

Ebola research and innovation strategy

The Commission's action and partnerships with industry in the field of fighting Ebola.

Coordinating global action

The EU has rapidly increased its investment in Ebola research due to a series of outbreaks in the past decade. 

Diseases like Ebola do not respect borders, and outbreaks like this must be met with a unified, global response. For this reason, the European Commission works together with many stakeholders in research and innovation in health.

Joining forces with industry

€230 million in research funding for Ebola and related viruses were mobilised by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) in response to the 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa.

Since 2014, there has been ongoing development of vaccine candidates for Ebola through the IMI Ebola+ programme.

On 31 October 2019 it was announced that a vaccine will now be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo in in a clinical trial supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to which the Commission has contributed €6 million under Horizon 2020, the Commission's research and innovation funding programme.

Additionally, IMI has supported the development of a community engagement programme to facilitate clinical trials in challenging field conditions through the EBODAC project.

The programme combines community engagement tools, such as radio shows and public meetings, with enabling technologies, such as iris scanners linked to mobile phone apps, to address the concerns of local communities and to ensure that all participants receive both vaccine doses.

Partnerships with and between other institutions and countries

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is a collaborative effort between European and Sub-Saharan African countries to develop and test promising new medical interventions for a range of poverty-related diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

Cooperation with funding organisations around the world

The Commission together with funding organisations from all around the world, has established the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R).

The goal of GloPID-R is to mount an effective international research response within 48 hours of an outbreak, and the funders that make up this network have been working hard to coordinate their efforts on Ebola.

The EU is also part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) which it supports through Horizon 2020 the Commission's research and innovation funding programme.