The University of Oxford on Friday announced the launch of a new centre for research collaboration — the Pandemic Sciences Centre — to create global, and equitable science-driven solutions to prepare for, identify, and counter future pandemic threats.

The Pandemic Sciences Centre, which will include a number of core institutes, will focus on generating actionable knowledge and data (from pathogens through to patients) in near ‘real-time’ and making this globally accessible; translating research into real-world solutions; and identifying ways to strengthen societal and political engagement, resilience, and responsiveness.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that spectacular advances are possible through an alliance of science, the public sector and industry — creating digital disease control tools, diagnostic tests, and life-saving treatments and vaccines at unprecedented speed. But it should not take a pandemic to make this happen,” said Professor Peter Horby, inaugural Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre.

“This level of innovation and multi-sectoral collaboration must be applied, day in and day out, to prevent another catastrophe like Covid-19,” he added.

The University hopes to raise 500 million pounds to invest in this centre — with contributions from philanthropists, corporate partners and governments.

Oxford scientists were pioneers in developing the Covid-19 vaccine that is being manufactured by AstraZeneca. It was also the second to win authorisation for widespread use around the world.