Epiconcept participates in a new Horizon 2020 Project set to strengthen EU preparedness and response to future pandemics

02 February 2021

Epiconcept will work as part of a major European project on pandemic preparedness and response, starting February 2021.

The PANDEM-2 Project will develop IT systems and processes to improve the European Union’s preparedness and response to future pandemics. New solutions developed by PANDEM-2 will enable the simulation of future pandemics and the training of pandemic managers on a national and pan-European basis. PANDEM-2 tools will also allow for improved planning and management of critical resources including hospital beds, PPE and vaccines.

Improving joint preparedness for pandemic threats

While Europe has responded robustly to the current pandemic, there is room for improvement in the analysis of real time data, in the sharing of information across borders and in adopting common and consistent policies. Future pandemics are to be expected with population growth, international air travel and environmental factors increasing the likelihood of diseases crossing from animals to humans. 

Protecting the health and security of citizens across the EU in the face of these pandemic threats requires member states and agencies to share information and to collaborate on joint policies and approaches.  

The PANDEM-2 Project will develop IT systems to improve the EU’s preparedness and response to future pandemics. The outputs will enable pandemic managers to prepare for a wide variety of different pandemic scenarios and possible responses. PANDEM-2 technologies will also enable improved pan-European planning and management of critical resources including hospital beds, PPE and vaccines. This will position Europe to respond coherently and effectively to the next pandemic, whenever it comes and whatever form it takes.

The project consortium, led by Project Coordinator Prof. Máire Connolly and NUI Galway, brings together European leaders from the health, security, defence, microbiology, communications, information technology and emergency management fields, ensuring that the most modern science serves the real-world needs of healthcare, government and society. Its Advisory Board membership includes the World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Epiconcept will lead the work package 2 that has the specific objective of identifying, compiling, and normalising multi-source pandemic-related data into a coherent pandemic-management database which requires substantial public health domain knowledge and IT competence. 

PANDEM-2 builds upon key insights and lessons learned in several previous EU-funded projects including the original PANDEM, beAWARE, CARISMAND, DARWIN, SAYSO and IN-PREP. PANDEM-2 will be working in the same research space as ongoing projects such as STAMINA, IPHIRI, MOOD, VEO, PATHOCERT and COSMIC. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 883285.