12 August 2020 VASCOVID selected as one of the 23 projects funded by the EC

Device being used on patients at Hospital Parc Taulí (Sabadell, Barcelona)

Devise use on COVID-19 patients in Hospital Parc Taulí ( Sabadell, Barcelona). ©J. Mesquida

The EC selects the ICFO coordinated project VASCOVID, one of the new research projects selected to receive EU funding for research against COVID-19. The European Commission has recently announced the selection of the projects focused for the study of COVID-19 that it will support with global funding of 128 million euros in response to the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 23 projects that have been selected in this call, the EC has chosen VASCOVID, a project coordinated by ICFO, led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Turgut Durduran, which involves six more partners from Spain, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.

Based on the HEMOCOVID-19 experience, its sister project, VASCOVID aims to develop a mobile platform for the evaluation of microvascular health in COVID-19 patients that are in intensive care units. VASCOVID will improve the commercial technology that has been used in the HEMOCOVID-19 consortium, and for such, its objective is to provide unique, more accurate and comprehensive biomarkers for prognostic purposes to guide clinicians in the development and deployment of new therapies targeting the microvasculature and for personalizing patient management in monitoring rescue ventilator strategies to prevent further unexpected deterioration of their respiratory status. This platform is easily deployable since it is non-invasive, portable and practical.

As for the call, the 23 selected projects involve 347 research groups from 40 countries. This EU funding will allow researchers to address the pandemic and its aftermath, strengthen industrial capacity to manufacture and deploy readily available solutions, develop medical technologies and digital tools, improve understanding of socioeconomic impacts and behaviors during the pandemic, and learn as much as possible about the disease from large data bases of patient groups across Europe.

As ICREA Prof at ICFO Turgut Durduran comments, “This funding is very timely and shows the ability of the European Commission to react rapidly to emerging needs. It will give a significant boost to our initiative on introducing our technologies to COVID-19 patient guidance and management and allow us to move from early clinical studies to clinical adoption. Just picturing that the project was envisioned and written during the lock-down period in many countries and with a very short notice, we realize how remarkable this has turned out to be.”