A billion molecules against COVID-19

The Joint European Disruptive Initiative is launching the Billion Molecules against COVID-19 Grand Challenge, with grants of up to 2 million Euros for the winners

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Our friends at the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) have this message for the community:

Open to the best scientific & technology teams in the world, this initiative has one objective: to screen billions of molecules with blocking interactions relevant to SARS-CoV-2, and fast-track the route to a therapeutic treatment. The current major health crisis has highlighted the need for strong anticipation, interdisciplinarity and massive agility. 

This is the first-ever DARPA-type (Advanced Research Projects Agency) challenge in Europe at the intersection of epidemiology, high performance computing, molecular
biology and artificial intelligence. Strong support has been provided by our first global partners, AXA Research Fund and Merck.

We call upon more private and public partners to join this unique and global initiative.
JEDI has brought together an exceptional Scientific Committee with major scientific figures from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Another unique aspect of this Grand Challenge is the involvement of the larger scientific community that we call upon to provide feedback on the Grand Challenge & our success metrics until the formal launch of the Grand Challenge mid April.

If you are interested in this, go to the JEDI COVID-19 page.


Go to the profile of Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Head of Communities & Engagement, Springer Nature

I gained my first degree in virology from the University of Warwick and a PhD in influenza virus immune evasion from Public Health England and the University of Reading, UK. My research interests then moved on to smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels, and cell adhesion, while a postdoc at Imperial College London. I joined open access publisher BioMed Central in 2011 as an Acquisitions Editor and then Associate Publisher, and was responsible for launching new journals, including Microbiome, Zoological Letters, and Movement Ecology. I have been Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature since 2016, running our online community blogs, and a Consulting Editor at Nature Medicine since June 2020, handling COVID-19 papers. I am based in our London office.

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