How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed the World of Research
COVID-19 and our exit from the EU have both had an important impact on science and technology in the UK. Many senior scientists have expressed concern over the future of research funding and valuable support for international collaboration.
The UK has been highly successful in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the economic costs for all nations will take some while to resolve.
For many years MS researchers have benefited especially from collaboration with our EU partners through several important EU platforms such as RIMS (Rehabilitation in MS) and ECTRIMS (European Committee for Research and Treatment in MS) to support a wide range of collaborative activities across Europe and to promote better treatment and a wider knowledge of the nature of MS. These platforms, in turn, collaborate across the world through organisations such as ACTRIMS (Americas Committee for Research and Treatment in MS) to provide widespread knowledge of the latest progress in research findings and to learn from each other’s experiences of treating MS. This has been especially useful in accelerating the safe and effective use of new drug treatments and improving the care and management of MS.
Senior scientists like Sir Paul Nurse, Head of the Francis Crick Institute express concerns that lack of national funding to replace some of the funds previously available through our contributions to the EU may destroy our capacity for collaboration in international networks and our participation in the EUs Horizon research programmes to actively encourage engagement and participation within the UK.
We ask those responsible for funding major areas of scientific and medical research in the UK to help sustain these important networks because they drive ambition and provide resources to broaden the capacity to work together to solve major health problems like MS.
At a more local level MS Research has funded several projects that have enabled researchers to gain information and data to enable them to apply for the much larger grants available at national and international levels and to bring wider expertise and experience to bear on MS related problems.