European research universities should be more involved in the new European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), according to the League of European Research Universities (LERU), of which the University of Milan is a founding member, the European Global Health Research Institutes Network (EGHRIN) for promoting and supporting research and innovation in the field of global health in which our University participates as a founding member with its Centre for Multidisciplinary Research in Health Science (MACH), and the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA).
The joint statement highlights how universities, research centres and their hospitals played a crucial role in the response to the pandemic. With their studies of the virus, the development of vaccines and new treatments, the analysis of epidemiological trends and social impact, they continue to make a decisive contribution to the management of the ongoing crisis. Multidisciplinary and research-intensive universities, in particular, rely on extensive expertise ranging from medicine to biology, through to natural and social sciences, often leveraging on synergies within dedicated global health research centres.
These skills and experience, as highlighted by LERU, EGHRIN and EUHA, can and must be used for planning effective responses to future health crises, also considering the independent role that universities can play in outlining governance strategies, potential scenarios and actions.
The three networks therefore propose to foster cooperation with the world of research by creating a subgroup in charge of building a bridge between HERA and universities, teaching hospitals and global health centres. These institutions can effectively respond to pandemics or climate change-related health emergencies, acting as an invaluable asset for an increasingly integrated Europe, also in preparing the response to future crises.
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