The COVID-19 pandemic showed how much it is essential to be prepared to face sudden challenges and prevent any future crisis. Planning, and have fit-for-policies, is fundamental to ensure that all the Member States can respond to any upcoming crisis. This is why the European Commission launched the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which aims to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies.

With the objective to provide a coordinated approach to health preparedness, HERA will also support research and innovation for the development for new medical countermeasures, including through Union-wide clinical trial networks and platforms for the rapid sharing of data, and will strengthen knowledge and skills on all aspects of medical countermeasures in the EU Member States.

Medical countermeasures are key to combat health threats. The Commission has been at the forefront of tackling the pandemic, but more must be done to ensure that we are better prepared for the next crisis. Research and innovation will be a central piece in HERA, as the new authority sets out to promote and support the development of medical technologies and their production.”, stated Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.

With a budget of 6 billion euros available for the next 6 years from the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2022-2027, part of which will come from the NextGenerationEU. This amount will increase up to 30 billion euros if we take into account investments in health security, preparedness and response through other EU programmes, as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, REACT-EU, Cohesion Funds.

It is therefore key that nurses and nursing researchers are involved in this development. Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare eco-systems. It is therefore vital to create synergies and collaboration with HERA for participating to the reinforcement of the healthcare eco-systems. “We are not prepared, unless we are all prepared” as demonstrated by Covid-19 crisis…HERA is the opportunity to be ALL prepared!!!