Announcement ERA-NET ‘JPIAMR-ACTION’ call 2022

“DRUID”: Disrupting drug resistance using innovative design

A new joint transnational call for research projects is open, in the framework of the ERA-NET ‘JPI-AMR-ACTION’, a research network that was initiated by the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance), and focusses on ‘antimicrobial transmission interventions’ in a broad sense.

This specific call thematic is focussing on ‘Disrupting drug resistance using innovative design’, which is linked to the JPI AMR ‘therapeutics area’, and intends to “improve the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections (including coinfection) and/or the prevention of the emergence/spread of resistance in humans, animals or plants through the improvement of the efficacy, specificity, delivery, combinations and/or repurposing of drugs and plant protection agents”.

Research projects shall be aimed at “licenced antimicrobial agents(antibiotics/antifungals) or agents under pre-clinical and/or early clinical development”, and at least one of the following topics has to be addressed:

  • Improvement of drug/plant protection agent efficacy and/or specificity through chemical modifications (including hit to lead optimisation);
  • Drug/plant protection agent repurposing;
  • Optimisation of drug/plant protection agent combinations, alone or with adjunct therapies (including therapeutic vaccines);
  • Design and implementation of new strategies (including optimisation of drug doses) for improved application, efficacy and delivery of single or combinations of antimicrobials;
  • Design and implementation of innovative tools, including novel chemistry and/or new materials for improved application, efficacy and delivery of antimicrobials.

Important constraints

à All ‘One Health Settings’ are eligible to the FWO.

 

à The FWO does not fund clinical research within this call.

More elaborate information on the scope and topics is available in the call text.

Deadline for pre-proposal submission: 8 March 2022, 14h CET (Brussels)

The available call information can be consulted on the JPI AMR website. Next to the general eligibility criteria and regulations taken up in the call text, researchers applying for FWO funding also have to comply with the ‘national’ FWO regulations, that are also mentioned in the call text document (from p. 17 onwards), which are essential when it comes to the eligibility of the Flemish (FWO) subproject.

FWO modalities

Both the FWO (junior/senior) research project (FO) and Strategic Basic Research (SBO) funding channels are integrated within this call. The type and scope of the proposed research project will determine the choice of funding channel for the research from within Flanders. Non-compliance with the specific requirements per funding channel will inevitably lead to non-eligibility.

Please note, this is only an FWO requirement: European and/or international partners within the project consortium can choose their type of research freely. Only the more ‘fundamental’ nature for ‘FO’ projects, or ‘strategic’ nature and strong valorisation component for SBO projects, of the partners from Flanders has to be guaranteed.

Project proposals should be submitted at the AMR call secretariat by European and international consortia, respecting the general eligibility criteria, as taken up in the call text. No separate national project submission is required for the FWO (apart from a valorisation plan, when it implies an SBO project). The FWO is able to support 1 project for a 3 years duration, with an available maximum applicable budget of 350.000 EUR (overhead included) per project/consortium as a whole. The FWO budgetary rules, which differ per funding channel, are also clarified in the call text (from p. 17 onwards).

For the ‘FO’ funding channel the respective regulation applies. For the SBO channel the SBO regulation has to be taken in to account. SBO implies projects with a primarily economic and/or societal finality, for which ‘valorisation’ is a key - and mandatory - aspect.

Some key points to take into account

  • When researchers prefer the SBO route, they are asked to provide proactively, and before the pre-proposal submission deadline, a concise – but to the point – valorisation plan to the FWO (no fixed format, max. 1-2 A4-pages), which i) clarifies the (societal/economic) valorisation context within Flanders (and internationally eventually), and ii) mentions the involved actors from Flanders. This document can be sent towards the eranet@fwo.be email address. Failure to comply with this requirement might lead to ineligibility.
  • Diverging overhead calculations apply for the FO funding channel at one hand and the SBO channel on the other, what is explained in the FWO national annex, taken up in the call text (p. 17).
  • Projects aiming at the development of a spin-off are not eligible in this context.
  • It is advised to consult the central coordination unit of the researchers’ host institution when it comes to determining the SBO overhead regulation. The SBO overhead implies a percentage of maximum 17%, which is calculated on the totality of the direct costs, as specified in the SBO cost model (the sum of the direct costs and the overhead included may not exceed an amount of 350.000 EUR in total).
  • The project duration is limited to 36 months, which implies that the funding has to be budgeted and spent accordingly. An automatic prolongation and using positive (financial) balances after the end date is not applicable in this framework.
  • ERA-NET participation does not interfere with the ‘regular’ project submission framework, and is consequently not taken into account for calculating the max. available number of new applications and running projects combined. However, researchers can only participate within 2 different international consortia, if it implies different subjects.
  • Per consortium maximum 350.000 EUR is available for researchers from Flanders, independent of the number of researchers/consortiumpartners from Flanders.
  • The PI, for each of the participating institutions from Flanders, must hold an appointment that fully covers the duration of the research project.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the FWO before submission, in view of the eligibility criteria, and in order to avoid the ineligibility of a researcher, and the project consortium as a whole.

Information about FWO participation can also be obtained by contacting the following FWO collaborator:

Kristien Peeters en Toon Monbaliu

+32 2 550 15 70
eranet@fwo.be