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Liverpool launches institute to prepare for future pandemics

Image: University of Liverpool


Institute initially funded by £10 million gift from giant global provider of rapid Covid-19 tests

A new global institute based at the University of Liverpool will aim to help the world prevent, prepare and respond to pandemics.

Launched on 13 September, the Pandemic Institute is a partnership between the university and several partners, including Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Its director, Matthew Baylis, chair of veterinary epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, said the institute had the potential to “revolutionise how the world responds to pandemics”.

“Uniquely, it will take a holistic view, from looking at future threats through to the response of communities and the healthcare system as well as treatments such as medicines and vaccines.”

‘Unparalleled pilot research programmes’

According to the university, the research outputs of the institute will be “rapidly translated into tangible policy, solutions and activity, ensuring real-world impact for governments, businesses and individuals across the globe”.

The institute, headquartered in The Spine building (pictured), part of Liverpool’s health and life science campus, is initially funded by a £10 million gift from Innova Medical Group, which the announcement described as the world’s largest provider of rapid antigen tests.

Daniel Elliott, CEO and president of Innova Medical Group, said the company had been attracted to Liverpool after being impressed by the “unparalleled amount of large-scale pilot research programmes and the guidance on global public health policy that Liverpool provided during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

For example, Liverpool hosted city community Covid testing pilot, as well as large-scale pilots in the government’s Events Research Programme to reduce and manage risks associated with large events.

“We are passionate about supporting organisations that will make a difference and it is clear now that pandemics are the biggest threat to the health of the world’s population,” Elliott said, “and that is why we are excited to support Liverpool’s partners with the Pandemic Institute, which has the potential to save lives and improve health outcomes for communities across the globe.”