A review of the EU’s initial contribution to the public health response by the European Court of Auditors shows it diverted €547 million to research on COVID-19 between January and June 2020.
The European Commission (EC) first committed €10 million Horizon 2020 funding for research on COVID-19 on 31 January 2020, using the provision in its work programme that had already committed this amount in case of a public health emergency.
This funding was increased to €48 million by the end of March to support 18 projects (out of 89 eligible applications) developing vaccines, diagnostics, new treatments and monitoring systems.
The Commission then launched a further call for funding applications in May 2020, with a total budget of €130 million, to support 23 projects.
The Innovative Medicines Initiative, the public private partnership between the Commission and the pharmaceutical industry, also launched a call for funding applications in March. It selected eight projects focusing on diagnostics and treatment development, which will receive in total €117 million, €72 million of which is in grants from the European budget.
Then, in April, the Commission committed another €166 million of funding in April 2020 via the EU business accelerator programme, the European Innovation Council, to 72 companies working on innovative projects related to COVID-19.