A task force for the coordination and support of research projects on Covid-19 infection
In March 2020, the university-affiliated hospital of Lille (CHU), the Université de Lille, the CNRS, the Institut Pasteur de Lille, the French national research institute for digital science and technology (INRIA), the École Centrale de Lille and the Université Lille Nord-Europe project (labelled I-SITE) set up a task force originating from the French Committee for Biomedical and Public Health research (CRBSP) to manage and support research projects on COVID-19.
In Lille, medical care and research united in the fight against COVID-19
This task force brings together researchers, decision-makers from Lille’s public research community, as well as clinicians and biologists, who are on the front line of infection control and patient care.
“The initiatives of the Lille research community to fight against COVID-19 are multiplying; there are not only therapeutic trials, clinical and fundamental research on the Coronavirus, but also support for research units in terms of human resources, equipment and reagents for viral care and diagnosis activities and for the management of research samples. This is highly positive. The coordination among these various participants makes it possible to provide new responses to patients’ needs every day,” David Launay, the CRBSP President and task force coordinator explained.
Care and research united in the fight against COVID-19
The unity of Lille’s institutions, which developed over time through the construction of the Experimental Public Institution (EPE), made it possible, among other things, to obtain funding from the board of directors of I-SITE Université Lille Nord Europe on 31 March. This will be invested into a 2 million-Euro emergency plan dedicated to research against COVID-19. This means that the task force constantly identifies and assesses research initiatives and their funding requirements.
To be eligible, projects submitted to the Task Force need to cover original research programmes that do not already exist in other contexts, and should lead to short or very short-term results, following one of the three directions below:
- Physiopathology / Understanding of the mechanisms associated with the short-term severity of the pathology
- Pharmacology / Therapeutics
These projects are supported by the Hauts-de-France region and the French State as part of the “Investissements d’avenir” programme (I-SITE ULNE / ANR-16-IDEX-0004 ULNE), which is managed by the French National Research Agency (ANR).