NUIG joins EU partners on preparing for a future pandemic

Galway daily news University of Galway holding postgraduate Open Evening on Tuesday

NUI Galway is joining partner institutes across the European Union in an initiative that aims to prepare the continent for dealing with the next pandemic.

The two year, Irish led PANDEM-2 project aims to help future proof the EU against the next potential pandemic by increasing the cross-border capacity of member states to respond together.

The project, which has been awarded €10m in EU funding, will develop IT systems and processes for improved EU wide responses and management of critical resources such as hospital beds, PPE and vaccines during pandemics.

PANDEM-2 is one of ten projects in the EU wide PREPARE Cluster, which aims to help Europe to be ready for future pandemics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for cross border collaboration in dealing with global health threats in an increasingly interconnected world, and these projects are supposed to help governments and agencies improve joint policies and the sharing of information.

Other projects involved in the PREPARE Cluster include CO-VERSATILE, which aims to ensure that the Manufacturing sector is able to boost production of vital medical equipment when its needed, similar to EUR3KA, which aims to repurpose manufacturing potential for medical equipment.

COVINFORM will analyse COVID-19 responses at the government, public health, and community level across Europe to create better policy guidance, while PERISCOPE aims to explore the impact socio-economic and behavioural impact the pandemic has had on people.

Professor Máire Connolly of NUIG, co-ordinator of PANDEM-2, said “We are delighted to be a part of the PREPARE cluster and working with so many excellent projects supported by the EU.”

“COVID-19 has had a devastating economic, social and health impact on countries worldwide and we must adopt a collective approach in our response strategy to future crises.”

“We look forward to will exploring synergies, research opportunities and delivering joint activities to to ensure Europe is better prepared for the next pandemic.”

The ten projects which make up the full PREPARE Cluster have received a total of €72 million in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.