It’s now been over a year since COVID-19 became a part of daily life for most people in the world. Many of us assumed that the worst would be over in a few months. As time wore on, it became increasingly obvious life might never return to what it was. As the public rose to the challenge of a new normal, so too did academia and industry rise to address the changing challenges of COVID-19.
Discovering new diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19 was of the highest priority, and across the world we saw laboratories and research teams pivoting their focus to identify potential new interventions. Currently, the global rollout of vaccines is providing a route back to a (new) normal. And here is where the importance of technology transfer between universities and industry has been highlighted – in the value of addressing global challenges through the commercialisation of university research. But there are still plenty of challenges ahead.
The challenges around the pandemic have grown and changed, and therefore so has the research needed to address them. We still need new antivirals and faster and more accurate COVID tests to diagnose and treat patients, and we also need ongoing vaccine development to keep up with how the virus mutates. We need research to improve treatment options for those suffering from long covid, and we need to continue to understand how COVID-19 affects those with pre-existing health conditions. The social and environmental impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and there are likely to be affecting us for many years ahead. And ultimately, we need to understand and plan for dealing with the next one.
It’s for these reasons why we’re running a second open call for research for COVID-19 – with the view to helping to continue the mobilisation of the university-industry community that’s vital for addressing the ongoing global challenge by providing a clear pathway for initiating meaningful conversations between the right people in academia and industry around the world.
If you’re an academic or research commercialisation professional you can find the full details of our call for research here, including our submission form. The call is open to all universities, a subscription to IN-PART is not required.
If you work in a company focused on developing Covid-related products or interventions, you can login to IN-PART to view the research submitted so far, or you can get in touch to tell us about your areas of focus around COVID-19.
Written by Ruth Kirk. Edited by Alex Stockham.
Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2021: ‘The new challenges for COVID-19 university and industry research’
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