COVID-19 in 2021: a year of adaptation for the research system
In 2020, as the global pandemic was announced and the scale of its impact unfolded, all sectors, research and innovation (R&I) included, scrambled to adjust to travel and social restrictions. Those working in fields related to all aspects of pandemic mitigation and response diverted their attention to the crisis.
In 2021, we have made huge advances in our understanding of the pandemic and the ways in which societies can cope and recover. In parallel, the rapid development, release, and roll-out of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has reduced the impact of the virus. The role of R&I has been central to all parts of the global fight, and the work conducted over the last two years stands on the shoulders of wide-ranging research conducted prior, without which the rapid responses seen would not have been possible. This highlights the role of research in our preparedness of crises. However, we are not yet beyond the pandemic, and with the emergence of a new variant in November 2021 (the Omicron variant), the impacts of COVID-19 will likely continue well into 2022.
Science Europe has been monitoring the activities of its Member Organisations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the impacts that the crisis has had on organisational functioning. The information gathered paints a picture of how research organisations have adapted their processes to continue functioning effectively under COVID-19 whilst also contributing to the response and recovery through the programming, funding, managing, and performing of research.
Activities from Science Europe Members
Aside from launching research calls, Science Europe's Member Organisations are also involved in several other activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of these include running research projects directly, openly sharing research data and facilities, and providing information to the public. An overview of such initiatives is also available.
European and Global Resources
Many organisations around the world have set up public sources of information on COVID-19, of relevant research results, or of ongoing activities to address the pandemic and its consequences. We have compiled an overview of resources to further information and initiatives that are currently ongoing in Europe and beyond.