Fund collaborative research

Pilot actions to build the foundations of a human cell atlas

For better understanding human health as well as improving the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of diseases, greater knowledge is needed of the diverse cells found within the human body. Recent developments in single cell technologies, analytical methods and computational tools allow for unprecedented characterisation of human cells. A novel approach to address this challenge is the international Human Cell Atlas initiative (HCA) which will create molecular reference maps of all human cells .

Stratified host-directed approaches to improve prevention, treatment and/or cure of infectious diseases

Despite major advances in development of new drugs and vaccines against infectious diseases, many of the therapies and preventive measures do not result in the expected favourable health outcomes for various reasons. The pathogen might be resistant to the treatment, or a required immune response might not be provoked to contain the infection; the used drug might not reach the pathogen, or the pathogen might escape the host defence mechanisms. In addition, each individual might be responding differently to the intervention, making it difficult to make one intervention fit all patients.

Supporting Joint Actions on sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity

The proposed ERA-NET Cofund action addresses specific challenges of sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity. Sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity is defined as the ease with which activities and opportunities may be reached in an urban transport system, with lower negative environmental impacts. Network connectivity reflects the directness of routes, using different modes to travel between points. It applies both for passenger and freight transport.

Safe by design, from science to regulation: metrics and main sectors (RIA)

Risk management involves quantifying hazard (toxicity) and exposure, and taking the necessary steps to reduce both to acceptable levels, ideally at an early stage of the nanomaterial development process (Safe-by-Design). Various industrial sectors, and in particular structural or functional materials, coatings and cosmetics, as well as pharma and health technology are currently searching for ways to mitigate possible risks from nanomaterials and nano-containing products.

Support to the BIOEAST initiative: boosting knowledge and innovation-based bioeconomies

Many European macro-regions have very high potential to develop functioning circular bioeconomies, exploiting their land, aquatic or waste based resources, but they often suffer the drawbacks of less developed knowledge and innovation systems. Neither traditional nor innovative value-chains are fully exploited and the opportunities for creating value added processes are not recognised or not well understood.

Sustainable Intensification in Africa

African and European agriculture share the common challenge of moving towards more sustainable ways of agricultural production. Both regions aim to ensure food production and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activities in the face of climate change, more unpredictable water supply and increased degradation of (land) resources. Systems approaches are needed to optimise agricultural productivity as well as the delivery of ecosystem services.


A. [2019]: African Farming Systems, sustainable intensification pathways (RIA)

Integrated health approaches and alternatives to pesticide use

Plant protection and biocidal products (both covered under the term "pesticides") are used in agriculture in order to secure yield and food safety in plant production and animal husbandry. At the same time, pesticides may have effects on the environment, non-target organisms, animal and human health. In the EU they are regulated and assessed for pre-market approval but tools and methods need to be further developed to better understand the overall risks and impacts associated with their individual and combined use and possible side effects.

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