CCMAR joins strategic European project to fight COVID-19
CCMAR is one of the partners of the ISIDORe project – “Integrated Services for Infectious Disease Outbreak Research”, which will increase the European capacity to provide research services dedicated to the study of infectious diseases, with emphasis on COVID-19. ISIDORe is one of the strategic projects funded by the European Commission to implement its bio-defence preparedness plan against COVID-19 variants, called “HERA Incubator”.
The ISIDORe project brings together more than 150 scientific institutions from 31 countries that are committed to providing part of their scientific and technological capacity so that scientists can access the equipment and resources necessary to advance research on the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other infectious agents with public health impact. With 21 million euros of funding from the European Commission, the project will be led by the European Research Infrastructure on Highly pathogenic Agents (ERINHA) and will have CCMAR-Algarve as one of its 154 partners.
Deborah Power, CCMAR researcher and professor at the University of the Algarve, explains that “with a highly specialized team and several technological platforms with ultra-precision scientific equipment, CCMAR-Algarve will contribute to the ISIDORe project by providing innovative and high quality services. These services will allow the identification and characterization of infectious agents, as well as the development of new approaches to vaccination and therapeutic models from marine organisms.”
The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown the extreme importance of a rapid and diversified response by the scientific community, so that society can deal with these challenges. Deborah Power also stresses that “in addition to the current challenge that COVID-19 represents, climate change is expected to bring future challenges such as the Zika virus, SARS, Ebola and new infectious agents. Therefore, it is extremely important to implement projects such as ISIDORe, so that the scientific services of CCMAR and other partners are quickly made available to the scientific community, thus allowing us to deal with the new virus variants that appear and the challenge of producing vaccines on a large scale”. The ISIDORe project starts this month, and will be implemented over a period of 3 years.