The PANDEM project was an 18-month, €1.4m project coordinated by University of Galway (Ireland) and funded under the Horizon 2020 Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens call. It was created in the context of the European Union (EU) facing a growing health security threat due to the convergence of risk factors driving disease emergence, amplification, and dissemination of pathogens with pandemic potential. Protecting the health and security of citizens in the EU in the face of these pandemic threats required a coherent response by all stakeholders driven by effective pandemic risk management.
The PANDEM project aimed at the reduction of threats to the health, socio-economic and security to society posed by future pandemics so that in the future we will be better prepared at the regional, national, EU and global level. It assessed pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems, and practice in priority areas including risk assessment and surveillance, communication and public information, governance, and legal frameworks. PANDEM identified gaps and improvement needs leading to the development of viable innovative concepts and analysing the feasibility of a future demonstration project to strengthen capacity-building for pandemic risk management in the EU.
PANDEM addressed the needs and priorities detailed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme crisis management topic DRS-4. It focused on the needs and requirements of users and first responders across the spectrum of pandemic risk management and brought together highly skilled and multi-disciplinary senior experts from the health, security, defence, microbiology, communications, information technology and emergency management fields. PANDEM developed a multi-sectoral systems-based methodology which was developed for use in a pan-European setting.
PANDEM-2 builds on the key insights and lessons learned in the PANDEM project. PANDEM-2 will build upon the PANDEM project’s success in identifying gaps and priority research needs for pandemic preparedness and response in Europe. This will ensure better preparedness to ensure the best decisions are made to improve health systems and pandemic management into the future.