Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.17M | Year: 2013
Tropical Atlantic climate recently experienced pronounced shifts of great socio-economic importance. The oceanic changes were largest in the eastern boundary upwelling systems. African countries bordering the Atlantic strongly depend upon their ocean - societal development, fisheries, and tourism. They were strongly affected by these climatic changes and will face important adaptation challenges associated with global warming. Furthermore, these upwelling regions are also of great climatic importance, playing a key role in regulating global climate. Paradoxically, the Tropical Atlantic is a region of key uncertainty in earth-climate system: state-of-the-art climate models exhibit large systematic error, climate change projections are highly uncertain, and it is largely unknown how climate change will impact marine ecosystems. PREFACE aims to address these interconnected issues, and has the following goals: To reduce uncertainties in our knowledge of the functioning of Tropical Atlantic climate. To improve climate prediction and the quantification of climate change impacts in the region. To improve understanding of the cumulative effects of the multiple stressors of climate variability, greenhouse induced climate change, and fisheries on marine ecosystems, and ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries, coastal vulnerability). To assess the socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate the resilience of Atlantic African fishing communities to climate-driven ecosystem shifts and global markets. To meet these goals we bring together European and African expertise to combine regional and global scale modelling capabilities, field experiments and observation systems. Our target region includes areas more affected by climate change and by its consequences, European outermost regions, and African countries bordering the Atlantic.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: Health | Award Amount: 2.85M | Year: 2014
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest and deadliest the world has ever seen. In September 2014, the number of EBOV cases exceeded the total of all cases from previous known outbreaks. Further, this public health crisis shifted into a complex emergency, with significant, social, economic, humanitarian, political and security dimensions. Till date, no effective medicine has been proven to be effective against EBOV. As a result, it is immensely difficult to mitigate the current outbreak as well as prevent further outbreaks in this region. On Sept 4-5 2014, the WHO gathered expertise on experimental therapies and vaccines and their role in containing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. During this consultation, experts identified several therapeutic and vaccine interventions that should be the focus of priority evaluation. Among these candidates is the existing antiviral drug Favipiravir, that has proven activity against many RNA viruses in vivo and in vitro including Ebola. Favipiravir is known to inhibit viral gene replication within infected cells to prevent propagation among which it inhibits viral gene replication within infected cells to prevent propagation. Hence, Favipiravir is currently aimed as a curative option in severe pandemic flue. Furthermore, there is currently enough stock of Favipiravir to even treat more than 20.000 patients, and the producer of Favipiravir, Toyoma Chemical/Fujifilm in Japan is willing to rapidly upscale the production of this drug. This drug has been extensively tested in humans and approved in Japan for treatment and prevention of influenza. The drug has shown an excellent safety profile in more than 2000 patients tested and no major adverse effect were reported. The current crisis requires both an immediate response to treat patients and prevent the further spread of the epidemic, as well as long term commitment in the complex sociocultural context. REACTION! will address both needs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-4.2.2. | Award Amount: 2.42M | Year: 2010
By means of a non-Eurocentric, theoretically and empirically sound cross-country and cross-region research design, EUMAGINE studies the impact of perceptions of human rights and democracy on international migration aspirations and decisions. Special attention goes to human rights (including womens rights) and democracy perceptions on Europe, specific European countries, and the relative popularity of Europe in comparison and competition with the US, Russia, Canada and Australia. The core idea of the project is that macro and meso level discourses on human rights and democracy influence micro level perceptions on these themes in countries of origin and transit, which in turn influence migratory aspirations and decisions. To obtain its objectives, the consortium of EUMAGINE (consisting of seven partners, Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium, coordinator), University of Oxford (United Kingdom), International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (Norway), Koc University (Turkey), Universit Mohamed V (Morocco), The Kennan Institute (Ukraine) and Universit Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Sngal)) will study four major source and transit countries, namely Morocco, Senegal, Turkey and Ukraine. For research purposes, the consortium is divided in four Geographical Duo Teams (each composed of a EU and non-EU partner). Based on a multidisciplinary, mixed-method approach (survey, in-depth interviews and observations) and by adopting a case study approach and comparing and contrasting a diversity of important international emigration countries, various types of regions within these countries, several modes of migration, various types of influential discourses, and different profiles of potential migrants, EUMAGINE will provide insights on how perceptions on human rights and democracy are related to migration aspirations and decisions. EUMAGINE is a gender sensitive project in the way that the team will address gender issues in all stages of the research cycle. Dissemination of the (intermediary) project results will be planned carefully and formulated in a program of dissemination elaborated from the start of the project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-3-02 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2010
AFTER aims to revisit traditional African products, knowledge and know-how in the light of new technologies for the benefit of consumers, producers and processors in Africa and Europe. By applying European science and technology to African traditional food products, AFTER seeks to turn research into quantifiable and innovative technologies and products that are commercially viable in both European and African markets. The 10 selected products representing 3 families of foods, (fermented cereal-based, fermented salted fish and meat, and vegetable and fruit based functional foods), fit into a matrix of technologies and processes shared between Europe and Africa that will be jointly developed within the framework of AFTER. The 10 products will be characterised according to existing knowledge on technologies and processes. The improved products, produced through reengineering and new processing technologies, will be tested for consumer acceptance, safety and nutritional quality. The market and entry requirement for new products will be assessed. Involving EU and African companies in production trials for the improved products will translate the results into ready-to-use information for food companies. AFTER has 8 workpackages: Management and Coordination; Characterisation of traditional products and know-how; Process reengineering of fermented cereal based products; Process reengineering of meat and fish products; Process reengineering for traditional functional foods; Consumer and market acceptance; Appropriation of the improved processes and technologies and Dissemination and exploitation. Creating new markets and trade opportunities for improved traditional foods and novel products in Europe and Africa will increase economic returns for all stakeholders involved in the production chain, down to the community level. Due consideration will be accorded to regulatory, ethical and IPR issues while also protecting the intellectual rights of Africans.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.5-02 | Award Amount: 1.26M | Year: 2011
More than water scarcity, diseases and civil wars, Africa is also the least wealthy continent, in terms of economic and financial resources. These combined and tightly linked problems have led to a restricted range of choices, affordable for African countries, to deal particularly with the water issue, as a major topic. Polluted water treatment before use has been their almost unique solution to deal with a growing water scarcity. The treatment of water and elimination of pollutants, mainly pathogenic organisms, xenobiotics and heavy metals, although itself presents significant challenges, is crucial for human health and environmental considerations. However, most regions in developing countries cannot afford the costs of advanced and specialized systems. Numerous water cleaning methods are based in natural, plants or micro-organisms, biochemical processes. Biotechnology is a useful tool that is delivering improved products and process for environmental sustainability, and promises a range of benefits to manage the industrial WW economically and effectively around the world. Some biotechnological techniques are quite sophisticated but others are simple, cost effective and adapted to local conditions and resources of developing countries. These natural biological treatment systems include lagooning, land treatment, phytodepuration, or constructed wetlands systems. They can be applied as secondary or tertiary purification treatment, allowing the removal of pathogenic microorganisms and the degradation of the organic pollutants, so that waste water can be recycled for irrigation and domestic use and hence reduce the pressure on the hydric resources. Other biotechnological techniques to be taken into account within this proposal are biofiltration, membrane bioreactors and algae and other aquatic crops application for wastewater purification.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.2.1.2 | Award Amount: 4.72M | Year: 2010
One of the most dramatic and immediate impacts of climate variation is that on disease, especially the vector-borne diseases that disproportionally affect the poorest people in Africa. Although we can clearly see that, for example, an El Nino event triggers Rift Valley Fever epidemics, we remain poor at understanding why particular areas are vulnerable and how this will change in coming decades, since climate change is likely to cause entirely new global disease distributions. This applies to most vector borne disease. At the same time, we do not know currently the limit of predictability of the specific climate drivers for vector-borne disease using state-of-the-art seasonal forecast models, and how best to use these to produce skilful infection-rate predictions on seasonal timescales. The QWeCI project thus aims to understand at a more fundamental level the climate drivers of the vector-borne diseases of malaria, Rift Valley Fever, and certain tick-borne diseases, which all have major human and livestock health and economic implications in Africa, in order to assist with their short-term management and make projections of their future likely impacts. QWeCI will develop and test the methods and technology required for an integrated decision support framework for health impacts of climate and weather. Uniquely, QWeCl will bring together the best in world integrated weather/climate forecasting systems with heath impacts modelling and climate change research groups in order to build an end-to-end seamless integration of climate and weather information for the quantification and prediction of climate and weather on health impacts in Africa.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-7 | Award Amount: 13.02M | Year: 2009
CHAIN is a large scale integrating project aimed to effectively and durably combat new and existing anti-HIV drug resistance in clinical settings, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and in heavily affected resource-poor regions in Africa. This will be achieved through our pan-European network of surveillance and basic research activities, the involvement of all main actors in the field of HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance, monitoring how resistances develop and evolve, improved understanding of mechanisms of resistance development, performing molecular epidemiology studies, providing improved and new strategies to evaluate and limit the emergence and transmission of HIV drug resistance, setting up training and dissemination activities and supporting evidence-based public health policy and action. CHAIN brings together Europes leading internationally recognised scientific expertise in basic science, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics and surveillance of HIV and HIV resistance including the WHO, strong links to Eastern Europe through the existing FP6 funded cohort network Europe HIVresistance and strategic links to relevant pan-European cohort networks and national cohort networks (PENTA/ECS, CASCADE, EuroSIDA, COHERE, ICoNa, UK-CHIC, SHCS). Our balanced programme of work is informed by optimising the synergistic skills represented by the applicants, and also through harmonising with existing initiatives, that ensures lack of duplication, but rather maximises the impact of European activities. Thus, our African and Eastern European work will be linked to WHO policy, our European surveillance studies will be guided by ECDC (through our advisory board), and our clinical research will generate questions best addressed through the NEAT clinical trial network. Finally, our partnership with the key biotechnology companies in HIV resistance will ensure maximal impact of our basis research activities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-ID1 | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2012
An effective malaria vaccine is needed, particularly against P. falciparum as this species causes more human mortality than all other eukaryotic pathogens combined. An understanding of natural selection operating on parasites in local endemic populations can enable understanding of core molecular mechanisms of global relevance. The objectives are to - Advance understanding of alternative pathways of erythrocyte invasion by malaria parasites - Advance understanding of immune evasion by malaria parasites - Identify optimal combinations of parasite proteins as malaria vaccine candidates - Develop the interface between population genomic and functional studies of malaria parasites The research programme will take an integrated approach to understanding pathogen adaptation, by designing experiments that are based on analysis at the molecular, functional, and population levels. (i) Population genetic analyses of P. falciparum in sites of contrasting endemicity in West Africa, to finely determine signatures of selection with high-resolution throughout the genome, and help refine hypotheses on mechanisms used by merozoites to invade erythrocytes and evade acquired immune responses. (ii) Experimental culture analysis of merozoite invasion into erythrocytes to identify the receptor-ligand interactions used by different parasite populations ex vivo. Novel receptor knockdown assays on cultured erythrocytes will be employed, and parasite adaptation experiments conducted to identify constraints on the use of alternative invasion pathways (iii) Innovative approaches to select individual parasites and characterise cell tropism, transcript profiles, and genome sequences. This is aimed to validate population level findings and revolutionise approaches to genetics and phenotyping of parasites in the future. Candidate molecule discoveries will be taken forwards to receptor-ligand interaction assays, antibody inhibition and immuno-epidemiological studies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 4.78M | Year: 2011
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects 350 million people worldwide and 25-30% of these individuals will die as a result of their infection mainly as a results of hepatocellular carcinoma HCC. Liver cirrhosis, high viral load and dietary exposure to aflatoxin are recognised as risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma amongst HBV carriers. However, these variables do not account for all cases of HCC and decompensated cirrhosis is rarely ever seen in West Africa suggesting that advanced liver fibrosis may not be an important risk factor in this population. A large case control study on HCC will be used to evaluate the importance of liver fibrosis and other established risk factors in West Africa and to explore other potential oncogenic determinants. The case-control study will generate serum, urine and DNA samples for proteomic, metabonomic and genomic analysis to identify biomarkers and aetiological agents for HCC. Effective treatment for HBV infection is now available in the developed world but treatment programmes have not been developed for resource poor settings even though some of the effective medication is now available at low cost for HIV management. A trial of HBV treatment in a group of carefully selected high risk patients will be conducted to demonstrate that the incidence of HCC can be reduced in this population as has been observed in Asian patients. The treatment trial will also be used to evaluate the efficacy of screening by ultrasound for early tumours which can be treated with percutaneous alcohol injection. This comprehensive programme therefore aims to reveal novel aetiological factors for HCC, identify and evaluate biomarkers and demonstrate the efficacy of selective antiviral therapy to prevent HCC
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.3.2 | Award Amount: 4.53M | Year: 2010
UNDESERT aims at combatting desertification and land degradation in order to mitigate their impacts on ecosystem services, and following on human livelihoods. The West African region is central for understanding desertification and degradation processes, which are already severe and widespread as a consequence of climate change and human impact. An improved understanding of the effects of desertification and degradation processes is obtained on a local to regional scale by integrating remote sensing information with sound field data on biodiversity and soil as well as socioeconomic and climate data. On this basis decision support models and tools will be developed and introduced to natural resource managers. UNDESERT also includes two very practical aspects, 1) restoration through tree plantations, which will be certified for CO2 marketing as the first restoration site in West Africa, 2) ecosystem management based on scientific data and best practices developed in close collaboration between scientists and local communities. As a demand driven project, UNDESERT activities will be implemented by employing 17 young PhD students, who will receive training to enhance future capacities to manage risks and uncertainties in the frame of future demographic and climatic changes. The scientific results will be used to combat desertification and degradation directly and will be transferred to international programs in order to contribute to the implementation of relevant international strategies, initiatives and commitments of the EU and African countries.