TUM Brussels: Europe joins forces against Covid-19

TUM Brussels |

In Europe, more and more initiatives are launched to join forces in the fight against the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The European Commission recently set up an advisory panel on Covid-19 and the EuroTech Universities Alliance partner institutions are exploring possible collaboration in order to find ways of containing the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus depiction on flag of the European Union
The EuroTech Universities Alliance is working at full speed on solutions to support the Covid-19 advisory panel of the European Commission. Photo: iStock.com / staraldo

On March 17, the European Commission launched an advisory panel on Covid-19 composed of epidemiologists and virologists from different member states to formulate EU guidelines on science-based and coordinated risk management measures. This panel, which was created following a mandate by EU member states, will be chaired by the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and co-chaired by Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

The advisory panel is composed of the following seven members, representing six member states:

  •  Arnaud Fontanet, France
  • Christian Drosten, Germany
  • Lothar H. Wieler, Germany
  • Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Italy
  • Kare Molbak, Denmark
  • Marion Kopmans, The Netherlands
  • Peter Piot, Belgium

The group brings together public health professionals, clinical practitioners, epidemiologists and virologists, who are at the forefront of the fight against the spread of Covid-19. The members will deliberate at least twice a week through videoconferencing, based on questions put forward by the Commission or on their own initiative.

To make the different EC initiatives more accessible, the European Commission launched a new Corona-related website that is updated regularly with the latest information on coronavirus research and funding opportunities.

Universities at the center of finding solutions

The EuroTech Universities Alliance’s Governing Board reacted swiftly to the ongoing developments and decided to join forces in the fight against the new coronavirus. Currently, the partners are putting together an overview of researchers, projects, and labs that are working in the field at all six partners. The thematic focus is not only limited to virological or epidemiological studies, but considers the entire range of research activities. This includes, for example, projects in the social sciences on the impact of exogenous shocks – of which the current pandemic is an example – on the economy and society, as well as any interdisciplinary project ideas by AI researchers and researchers in the medical fields. European collaboration is more than ever crucial to explore sustainable solutions for the challenges the continent faces these days.

TUM and its university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar are at the forefront of finding such solutions. The university hospital is participating in studies on new medications for people suffering from Covid-19. As part of a clinical study, scientifically active physicians are treating patients suffering from Covid-19 with medications that are still undergoing clinical trials, including the polymerase inhibitor Remdesivir among others. The international study will investigate the efficacy and safety of the active ingredient in moderately and seriously ill patients.

Learn more about the EuroTech Universities Alliance here.