Collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) plays an increasingly

important role in the EU-India Strategic Partnership. In line with the EU-India

Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025, and the Joint Science and Technology

Steering Committee meeting on 12 February 2021, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has identified calls for proposals in the Work programmes 2023-2024 of the EU R&I Research and Innovation Programme ‘Horizon Europe’, which it considers of mutual interest and aiming at jointly tackling global challenges. For this, DBT has established a mechanism outlining the conditions upon which it will co-fund the successful Indian entity/ies and in which call topics (hereafter Co- Funding Mechanism or CFM). The CFM will apply to the call topics earmarked by DBT in areas of pandemic preparedness and response, brain disorders, biofuels and healthy & environmentally-friendly food. This notice explains in the different Sections hereunder how to prepare and submit a co-funded project.


As shown by the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases remain a major threat to health and health security in the EU and globally. Viral disease emergence is expected to accelerate due to among other, climate change, and thus a proactive approach to the development of anti-viral therapeutics in preparedness for future infectious disease outbreaks is needed. The availability of broad-spectrum anti-viral therapies would provide a critical preparedness measure against future health threats, due to infectious disease epidemics or pandemics.

Proposals should develop and advance broad-spectrum anti-viral compounds and develop novel approaches to the development of such compounds, which target viruses with high epidemic or pandemic potential for the EU, such as those included in the list of priority diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO), with particular attention to those meeting the criteria identified by the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).

Proposals should address all of the following areas:

· Preclinical work and proof-of-concept/first-in-human studies and early safety and efficacy trials for testing new or improved anti-viral therapeutics, with a clear regulatory and clinical pathway. Phase IIb/III phase trials will not be supported.

· Innovative delivery systems and suitable safety profiles for broad use should be considered when possible. Attention should be paid to critical social factors such as sex, gender, age, socio-economic factors, ethnicity/migration, and disability.

· Application of novel approaches and widely applicable workflows (e.g. artificial intelligence) for rapid and reliable identification of broad-spectrum anti-viral therapeutics.

Expected Outcomes

Proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed, tailored towards and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:

· The scientific and clinical communities have an increased knowledge on viruses with epidemic potential and in particular a better understanding of different potential mechanisms of action for the development of broad-spectrum anti-viral therapeutics for these viruses.

· The scientific and clinical communities have access to novel approaches for the development of anti-viral therapies for emerging and re-emerging infections in the context of epidemic and pandemic preparedness.

· The scientific and clinical communities have access to experimental broad-spectrum anti-viral candidates against emerging or re-emerging viral infections for further clinical investigation.

· A diverse and robust pipeline of broad-spectrum anti-viral drug candidates is available for emerging and re-emerging viral infections, increasing therapeutic options for clinical deployment in case of an epidemic or pandemic.


Indian entities:

Academic/Research Partners:

Public and/or private universities and research organisations must have a well-established research support system, for basic or applied research; and
Submission of proof of establishment under Indian statue; recognition documents and registration at Government of India’s Public Finance Management System (PFMS) – shall be obligatory.
Funding details

DBT will fund the Indian partners/entities in a successful project, as per requirement of the project, for the project duration up to 3-4 years. Budget should be commensurate with the essentiality of participation, workload, objectives of the project and cost of participation.

Budgeted costs of the project to legal entities subject to obligatory fulfilment of eligibility criteria:

1. DBT will support (Grant-in-aid) 100% of the approved budget costs to Government of India supported or recognised public or private academic institutions or research organisations;

2. Eligible costs for funding are: Capital expenditure (equipment’s) || Manpower || Consumables || Travel (local and international* travel) || Contingency || Overheads || Outsourcing || others. (Academia can factor in additional sub heads (in other category) such as training & awareness; workshops; publications; review meetings, etc. under expenditure based on the requirement of the project).

* The travel of investigator(s) and project staff (s) will be as per prevailing Government of

India guidelines.

IPR details

IPR legislation and other rules are often crucial for participants in research projects, as they may have a deep influence on the way in which the knowledge can be shared during a project development, and in which project results can be commercially used.

The participants shall jointly develop a Consortium Agreement (CA). The CA is a specific agreement to be concluded between the participants in joint research, defining, among other things, ownership, protection, user rights for research and development purposes, exploitation and dissemination, including arrangements for joint publication, the rights and obligations of visiting researchers and dispute settlement procedures. The CA shall also address foreground and background information, licensing and deliverables.
The IPR issues for all the proposals need to satisfy the S&T agreement between EU and India.
Proposal submission

All proposals with Indian applicants should be submitted to both Horizon Europe Funder & Tenders portal and to DBT.


DBT contact:

Dr. Abhishek Singh,

Scientist ‘C’, DBT

EU contact:

Deadline for submission of complete proposal: 13 April 2023

Deadline for submission of concept note/expression of interest to R&D Department – 25 March 2023, EoD. The project proposal in prescribed format or the concept note as the case may be, should be sent to Dean R&D (, with CC to Associate Dean (R&D) ( well in time.

Horizon Europe – Pandemic preparedness and response: Broad spectrum antiviral therapeutics for infectious diseases with epidemic potential

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