Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium Stakeholder Report

Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium

Executive Summary

The Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium has successfully developed a suite of epidemiological models and a sustainable framework for mobilising relevant modelling expertise to transform approaches to rapid real-time decision-making in disease outbreaks. The work undertaken by SCRC highlights the critical importance of an interdisciplinary Open Science, One Health approach to pandemic preparedness and response.
The Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium (SCRC), formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, is an interdisciplinary consortium comprising over 150 UK scientists from public and private sectors, including experts in animal and human epidemiology, social science, policy analysis, research software engineering, data visualisation and risk communication.
SCRC drew on this array of expertise to develop a virtual network with collaboration, open science and One Health at its core. In the last 6 months, the team has produced the following key outputs:

  1. Six large scale COVID-19 disease models (adapted from pre-existing animal disease models) which can be used to evaluate future disease transmission and control strategies to support policy decision-making for COVID-19.
  2. An automated data pipeline to ensure traceability, transparency and quality standards of data inputs and model outputs.
  3. A model evaluation tool (a model "Open Epidemiology scorecard") to assess whether model outputs are fit-for-purpose (appropriate, relevant, ethical, robust) for decision-makers.
  4. A visualisation platform that integrates visualisation at every stage of model development and output.

Taken together these provide the basis for definition of much-needed Open Epidemiology standards. Built on foundational principles of transparency, interdisciplinary and open science, and One Health we believe these standards represents a step change for policy relevant modelling of both human and animal diseases. SCRC has shown how Open Epidemiology approaches enable effective response by providing decision makers the tools they need to transform model outputs into policy, transparently and in the most efficient and accurate ways possible. They also provide tools to ensure that lessons learned will improve preparedness for future epidemics and pandemics.
The importance of SCRC’s work in both the COVID-19 pandemic and in future-proofing pandemic preparedness, means that it is vital that this work continues to be funded. Grant applications to support continuing work have been submitted and are pending approval. 

Visit Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium website