Brussels, 17 October 2006
The European Commission is today announcing €28.3 million of new projects into avian and pandemic influenza. 17 projects were selected after a special call for proposals under the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme. The new projects cover human and animal health, and address research needs identified by organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the UN. The €28.3 million allocated to these projects comes in addition to the €21 million already made available under the Fifth and Sixth Framework Programmes.
“It is important that the EU is able to target its research programme to meet new needs that arise,” said European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik. “We have shown that we are able to do this. The involvement of so many international partners shows that Europe is leading the global fight against avian and pandemic flu.”
The €28.3 million is evenly divided between human and animal health projects. On the human health side the projects will cover research on better understanding of how the flu virus works as well as clinical research on vaccine development. The projects addressing animal health will cover vaccines, better diagnosis and early warning systems, increased knowledge of the avian influenza virus itself, technology transfer to third countries and a network for monitoring migratory birds.
Nine of the selected projects include partners from outside the Framework Programme, such as Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia, US, Canada and Croatia, several of which have been directly affected by recent outbreaks of avian influenza There are also several small and medium-sized companies involved in the projects.
Details of all the projects can be found in MEMO/06/381.