London, UK—April 29, 2021. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce the publication of a new market report from Research Professional News, an authoritative, editorially independent news service published by Ex Libris. Drawing on data from the Ex Libris Pivot-RP funding service, health think tank Policy Cures Research, the UK Collaborative on Development Research, and other sources, the report examines global funding trends in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a worldwide effort. Nonetheless, tensions between national interests and international collaboration have been at play since the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first identified. Funding has flowed to researchers around the world in unprecedented amounts, but some sectors, countries, and even whole disciplines have been relatively neglected as governments and charities focus on the immediate need to develop and scale up medical work. The Research Professional News report presents an analysis of who the biggest players have been in funding the COVID-19 research response, how their money has been spent, and what lessons global funders have learned about working together as the world begins to look beyond the pandemic.
The report highlights findings in the following key areas:
- Big bio spending: Researchers working on vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and devices for COVID-19 have claimed the lion's share of funding.
- National interests: The United States dominates the leaderboard of highest spending countries, having committed nearly 50 percent of the global total spending on research, some $4.4 billion.
- Western dominance: Over 90 percent of research projects are located in high-income countries.
- Government funding vs. private foundations: The majority of funding has come from governments and national organizations. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the only nongovernmental funder to make it into the top 10 donors.
- Approaches to vaccine development: Many research bodies in the United States and Europe have focused on newer vaccine technologies. As such, major funding commitments have gone to more experimental companies and university-based laboratories.
- Funding of therapeutic treatments: Earlier stages of the pandemic saw a greater emphasis on treatments to help control the disease, with $1.3 billion in funding awarded.
- Funding by discipline: A significant number of research projects involve the social sciences, suggesting a research response to the wider impact of the pandemic.
Eyal Kirshner, Ex Libris vice president of Research Funding Solutions, commented, "The response from governments and private funding organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic has outstripped the response to any infectious disease outbreak in history. The report provides academic institutions and policy makers with insights into how COVID-19 research has been funded thus far and how these trends are likely to affect future funding as the world moves from response to recovery."
Group Editor Sarah Richardson, Research Professional News, noted, "While large parts of the world remain in the grip of the pandemic, the results of the huge international research effort—in the rollout of vaccine programs and better treatments and diagnostics—are paving the way toward a return to greater normalcy. This report draws together data on funding commitments and grants to tell the story of how headline pledges have translated to work on the ground. In the report, we also consider how, despite the ongoing threat from COVID-19, the research response to the broader lasting impact of the pandemic is gathering pace."
About Ex Libris
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