ESCAPE, a research project that will provide a science-based blueprint for faster and better decision-making. This will enhance Europe's preparedness for a pandemic of pathogen X.
About the project
Pandemics have the potential to disrupt our daily lives and affect every part of society as was seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. By responding too late, in a fragmented way or without coordination between different countries, this has led to huge human and economic costs. Therefore ESCAPE aims to provide for an evidence-based pandemic preparedness plan so losses can be minimized.
By creating pathogen-tailored tools, we wish to avoid that preparedness plans of governments and public health authorities are not only based on the previous pathogen that affected their population. Policy-makers should be able to implement measures based on model-based recommendations using rapidly available data and the latest analytical tools in order to contain or mitigate disease spread.
We also emphasize that the communication and involvement of the public are essential for any successful pandemic preparedness strategy and are thus a vital part of the project.
Aims and objectives
The main objective of ESCAPE is to improve the efficiency and scalability of early pandemic response plans. We will aim to provide evidence-based guidelines, standardised protocols, retroactive insights and digital solutions. This will support scientists in producing and integrating evidence. Public health authorities will be informed in making decisions to avert or reduce disease and societal burden. To develop better and faster response plans key elements are advancing state-of-the-art data collection, sharing and assimilation techniques, as well as statistical and mathematical models informed by such data and used to support policymakers. These research objectives are clustered in four topics: data readiness, analytics & tools, determinants of success and the decision aid blueprint.
For exponential growth in impact on future pandemic preparedness
`` Let's aim for exponential growth in impact on future pandemic preparedness ''
- Lisa Hermans (Project manager)
ESCAPE brings together renowned scientists with expertise in infectious disease modelling, biostatistics, epidemiology and health economics with experience in science-policy interactions and communication to the general public.
The ESCAPE project is overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of senior researchers and project managers from each of the consortium partners, representatives from ECDC and HERA. An independent Ethics Advisor provides assistance to the partners in understanding and appropriately addressing the ethics issues raised by their activities.