Vector-borne diseases, or those bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases transmitted by a vector (e.g., mosquito, fleas, flies, sandflies, ticks), cause significant morbidity and mortality across the world, especially to tropical and subtropical geographic regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vector-borne diseases (17% of all infectious diseases) increase health burden, causing more than 700,000 annual global deaths.
To address this challenge, the European Commission has taken one step forward to lead global efforts to identify an effective approach toward the coordination of an early warning system for infectious disease epidemics. Of the six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes, one EIC Horizontal Prize is focused on the “Early Warning for Epidemics”. Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2020, and funding (up to €5 million value) will be awarded in the first quarter of 2021.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, stated, “Every year there are over one million reported deaths from vector-borne diseases globally. Their societal impact is significant, often causing disability, stigmatisation and exacerbating poverty. This EIC prize will be a launchpad for innovators to find solutions that help prevent future outbreaks and improve life quality.”