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Connected, Scalable, and Prepared! Different approaches by EU-funded projects towards one common goal: Collaborative Preparedness.

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The webinar featured an introductory segment shedding light on various European initiatives. We welcomed representatives from PCR-4-ALL, Leaps, Pandasia, OneBat, and VERDI, showing that pandemic preparedness has many facets: From novel testing strategies, over mathematical and statistical modeling, to assessing the risk of viruses in animals with a risk of zoonotic spillover. To review their project objectives and impacts, recordings of their presentations are available via this link.

The afternoon sessions were tailored to address shared challenges in pandemic preparedness. Participants engaged in collaborative brainstorming sessions, exchanging insights crucial for effective response efforts. These summaries capture participants' perspectives rather than extensively researched motivations, reflecting their thoughts, or considerations regarding these key aspects.

Data readiness.

A common challenge for the future is sustainable funding for ongoing data collection. First steps are being taken in creating synthetic data, and implementing federated data learning. We have agreed upon collaboration between projects with similar objectives in the short-term and identified long-term priorities, such as EU-level guidelines on data collection and private company collaborations.

Analytics and tools.

Country differences on many levels (e.g. socio-cultural differences and intervention measures) have an impact on mathematical and statistical modeling work. In the spirit of sharing knowledge and insights, future efforts should focus on providing modeling tools for scientists and creating educational tools tailored for decision-makers.

Determinants of success.

We need to consolidate opinions from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise to determine the indicators of success to facilitate them in future pandemic management. Additionally it’s important to identify, select, and quantify data sources to measure the indicators across countries, along with collecting data and conducting statistical analyses to inform decision-making.

Intelligent community.

The past pandemic highlighted the need to ensure mutual understanding between different stakeholders, and recognize the strength as well as uncertainty of evidence driving pandemic management. Future plans involve prioritizing policymakers' needs and creating guidance documents for the press. The development of structured networks and communication plans will be part of this.

The webinar emphasized inclusivity, with the aim to maximize participation and knowledge-sharing. Reflecting on the event, it underscored Europe's commitment to proactive and collective action in safeguarding public health. As the threat of pandemics continues, researchers from different countries and disciplines need to collectively work towards fortifying Europe's pandemic preparedness efforts. Fully in line with ESCAPE’s project goals, this webinar enables the next steps in that direction.

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