VERDI General Assembly 2024: Sustainability and Future Directions

June 24, 2024

Last week, the VERDI project team gathered in Tallinn, Estonia, and online for the 4th General Assembly. This year’s meeting, which brought together around 60 people from 30 partner institutions, centered on ensuring the project’s sustainability and included updates from each of the seven work packages (WPs).

The event began with presentations from the Estonian Ministry of Health and the European Commission. The Ministry discussed the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Estonia, while the European Commission outlined plans to improve pandemic preparedness across Europe, positioning VERDI, the Cohort Coordination Board (CCB) and Coordination Mechanism for Cohorts and Trials (CoMeCT) at the forefront of these efforts.

Following these presentations, VERDI partners discussed on the project’s future and long-term viability, with a focus on expanding towards other infectious diseases, as well as integrating “big data” and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the work. The assembly also addressed the ongoing mpox outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and VERDI’s supportive role.

Overall, the 4th VERDI General Assembly was a great success and was a testament to the engagement of all the project partners, old and new, to achieve the VERDI mission of prioritising children, pregnant people and other high-risk groups in research on (re-)emerging pandemics. The meeting provided a platform for sharing progress and findings across the project’s work packages, and to discuss possible future steps. The Consortium looks forward to the 5th and final General Assembly next year.