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A business model for a sustainable vaccine R&D infrastructure

A new feasibility study that looked at a sustainable economic model for vaccine R&D infrastructure demonstrates that they could have a major socioeconomic impact.

31 October 2023

Vaccines have been crucial in preventing and infectious diseases, as we could witness during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. However, developing vaccines is expensive, hard to predict, and requires significant resources. Many of these obstacles in current vaccine R&D could be addressed by research infrastructures (RIs); they have proven fundamental for supporting scientific research but are very costly to establish, operate and maintain.

Tackling the challenges for setting up and running RIs, the outcomes of a feasibility study that has explored options for a sustainable business model for a vaccine RI less dependent on public funding have now been published[1]. The study proposed a hybrid business model, containing one model focussing on the provision of scientific-technical services, and a second model aiming to advance the development and testing of selected vaccine directly within the vaccine RI itself.

An in-depth impact assessment highlighted the great potential of a vaccine RI set-up in this manner to achieve substantial socio-economic benefits, including the saving lives, improving public health, creating jobs and growth of life sciences academia.

The study was conducted within the TRANSVAC[2] network, a distributed, network-based research infrastructure integrating the expertise and facilities of 26 leading research organisations from ten European countries.

It has been funded by the European Union (EU) from 2009 to 2023 with a total cumulative funding of approximately 27 million EUR and a focus on prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for human and veterinary use.

Read the full article for insights into how this innovation can shape the future of vaccine development:


[1] Jungbluth S, Martin W, Slezak M et al. Potential business model for a European vaccine R&D infrastructure and its estimated socio-economic impact [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2023, 12:1401 ( [2]

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 730964.


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