End-of-year message from the Executive Director and publication of the Work Programme 2024

Dear colleagues, partners and friends,

As the year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on what has been achieved and what is to come. 

First, let us walk through what has already been implemented. 

Building on the previous investments of over €1 billion of the first and second EDCTP programmes, the new €1.6 billion Global Health EDCTP3 programme has re-ignited the momentum in the fight against infectious diseases. With a fresh investment of over €102 million in its first year of implementation, 29 new projects are already running. The majority of these are supporting research and development activities through clinical trials and product-focused implementation aimed at developing new or improved health technologies and interventions to tackle the burden of infectious diseases. Eight of these projects are working to strengthen the enabling environment for conducting clinical trials and clinical research, including through improving ethics and regulatory capacity and establishing a sustainable clinical trial network in sub-Saharan Africa. 

During 2023, Global Health EDCTP3 launched further funding opportunities to expand its portfolio of investments. With a total budget of over €130 million, seven new calls for proposals were launched this year to support research activities aiming to tackle the Ebola outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa, improve women and children’s health and improve modes of delivery and uptake of vaccines, among others. I invite you to read our end-of-year highlights to find out more about the outcomes of these funding opportunities, as well as our running projects and strategic activities carried out during 2023. 

This year also saw the Eleventh EDCTP Forum being held in Paris and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of EDCTP. I thank all of you, from all research fields and regions, for having joined us in such a special occasion. 

After nearly two decades at the EDCTP Association, last month I became the Executive Director of the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking (Global Health EDCTP3). Shortly after, an important milestone was reached when the Global Health EDCTP3 achieved financial autonomy from the European Commission. With its new architecture and building on the efforts made by the previous EDCTP programmes, I am certain that this new iteration of the programme, with its global perspective, has the capacity to grow bigger and stronger, becoming a proud successor of EDCTP2. 

Our investments reflect our ambition to become the leading research partnership on infectious diseases. In this respect, I am happy to announce that our 2024 Work Programme has been published with over €140 million in funding opportunities. The actions in this annual programme will support a range of activities aimed at tackling diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as well as building research capacity in Africa through academia-industry fellowships for researchers.

To conclude, I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the EDCTP2 and Global Health EDCTP3 programmes, colleagues, partners and many more, for your efforts and contributions to our common objectives. I look forward to continue working with you to achieve our goals and provide solutions for those who need them most.

I wish you all a happy holiday season and warm wishes for the New Year.

Dr Michael Makanga, Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking Executive Director.

Background information

The Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking invests in global health through funding collaborative research and innovation projects tackling infectious diseases and supporting activities for research capacity building in Africa. 

The end-of-year highlights: 2023 activities and achievements report showcases the activities carried out during 2023, including the calls for proposals launched and strategic activities, as well as an outlook on 2024.

Work Programme 2024, containing the activities and funding opportunities to be carried out during 2024, has now been published. An information session (Info Day) will take place in early 2024 to provide applicants with further details on the calls for proposals and answer any relevant questions.

Further information on the Global Health EDCTP3 strategy can be found in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).