On July 28th, the European Commission has launched a Manifesto to maximise the accessibility of research results in the fight against Covid-19. The Manifesto provides guiding principles for beneficiaries of EU research grants for coronavirus prevention, testing, treatment and vaccination to ensure that their research results will be accessible for all and guarantee a return on public investment.
Quoting Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, “The importance of cooperating closely across the EU and beyond, supporting open science and the principles of open access has never been more evident. The Manifesto prepares the ground for products and solutions resulting from EU research grants, to be scaled up, available and affordable for all”.
The set of guiding principles are to:
Make the generated results, whether tangible or intangible, public and accessible without delay, for instance on the Horizon Results Platform, on an existing IP sharing platform, or through an existing patent pool.
Make scientific papers and research data available in open access without delay and following the FAIR principles via preprint servers or public repositories, with rights for others to build upon the publications and data and with access to the tools needed for their validation. Specifically for Covid-19 research data, to make them available through the European Covid-19 Data Platform.
Where possible, grant time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licences for the intellectual property until one year after the WHO declaration that coronavirus is no longer a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, with a maximum time limit of 1 January 2022, unless otherwise extended by the beneficiary. These non-exclusive royalty-free licenses will be given in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly and broadly distribute the resulting products and services under fair and reasonable conditions to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain Covid-19.
The Manifesto seeks the voluntary support and endorsement from public and private stakeholders benefiting from EU funding, other research funders and prominent individuals and institutions. Endorsing the Manifesto does not entail legal implications for signed grants.