PERISCOPE (Pan-European Response to the ImpactS of COVID-19 and future Pandemics and Epidemics)

Project Lead: Thomas Czypionka
Team: Susanne Drexler, Siegfried EisenbergMarkus KrausMiriam ReissStephanie ReitzingerMonika RiedelChristoph Stegner
Duration: November 2020 – October 2023
Funding: European Commission, Horizon 2020

Call for Applications: Country Specific Analysis of COVID-19


The European Commission approved PERISCOPE (Pan-European Response to the ImpactS of COVID-19 and future Pandemics and Epidemics), a large-scale research project that brings together 32 European institutions and is coordinated by the University of Pavia. PERISCOPE is a Horizon2020 research project that was funded with almost 10 million Euros under the Coronavirus Global Response initiative launched in May 2020 by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The goal of PERISCOPE is to shed light on the broad socio-economic and behavioural impacts of COVID-19. A multidisciplinary consortium will bring together experts in all aspects of the current outbreak: clinic and epidemiologic; socio-economic and political; statistical and technological. 

The partners of the consortium carry out theoretical and experimental research to contribute to a deeper understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic and the measures adopted to contain it. Such research-intensive activities will allow the consortium to propose measures to prepare Europe for future pandemics and epidemics in a relatively short timeline.

The main goals of PERISCOPE are:

  • to gather data on the broad impacts of COVID-19 in order to develop a comprehensive, user-friendly, openly accessible COVID Atlas, which should become a reference tool for researchers and policymakers, and a dynamic source of information to disseminate to the general public;
  • to perform innovative statistical analysis on the collected data, with the help of various methods including machine learning tools;
  • to identify successful practices and approaches adopted at the local level, which could be scaled up at the pan-European level for a better containment of the pandemic and its related socio-economic impacts;
  • to develop guidance for policymakers at all levels of government, in order to enhance Europe’s preparedness for future similar events and proposed reforms in the multi-level governance of health.

PERISCOPE is structured around five main clusters and 15 work packages (WP):

  • DIG (Impacts and Government responses cluster). This cluster is dedicated to the collection of data on impacts and government responses. It relies on a variety of methods and existing repositories to collect comprehensive data on social, economic and behavioural impacts, as well as a first assessment of the policy measures adopted at all levels of government during the pandemic. Important streams of our research will be dedicated to the mapping of mental health impacts, health inequalities, and a multi-dimensional analysis of the impacts on health systems.
  • BEAM (Behaviour, Experiments, Atlas and Modelling cluster). This cluster is dedicated to building an unprecedented COVID Atlas, which will be complemented by sentiment data analysis and behavioural experiments as well as statistical modelling including dynamic SIR models, correlation network models and Bayesian decision making models. This will allow us to identify patterns and good practices, to be translated into concrete guidance for policymakers.
  • GIG (Governance, Innovation and Guidance cluster). This cluster will select innovative solutions that emerged during the pandemic, through a call for good practices and an “Innovation Challenge”. It will reflect on how to improve governance at the local, subnational, national, EU and global level, so as to promote resilience and sustainability. This will lead us onto a journey full of digitally enabled governance solutions, as well as stronger coordination across levels of government. All our findings will be translated into an interactive guide for policymakers, which will build on a pre-existing software tool called PERSEUS.
  • TED (Testing, Education and Deployment). This cluster combines the concrete deployment of innovative solutions with the development of ad hoc training sessions for specific stakeholders (e.g. nurses, health authorities, policymakers), based on the key findings of the first three clusters of PERISCOPE.
  • REACH. This cluster is dedicated to the dissemination of our research results, as well as to the communication of our activities to institutions, stakeholders and the general public.

The Institute for Advances Studies (IHS) is leading WP 3 which aims to

  • analyse preparedness and adaptive capacity of health systems with regard to COVID-19
  • assess the impact of the outbreak and policy measures on health systems
  • draw lessons from these experiences for improving health system resilience

PERISCOPE started on 1 November 2020 and will last until 31 October 2023.

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