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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

New funding opportunity seeks network for disease forecasting at CDC

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Under a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) launched last week, the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) announced efforts to strengthen outbreak response among decision makers through creation of a disease forecasting network.

CFA is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Infectious disease outbreaks have and will continue to threaten our communities, friends and families,” Dylan George, director of the CFA, said. “This network will increase our national capacity to use disease models, analytics, and forecasts to support public health action, prevent infections, protect people, and safeguard economies. The network will also provide desperately needed tools to fight outbreaks quickly and effectively in our communities, where critical response decisions are made.”

Prospective applicants were encouraged to apply for one of three components, or as a coordinator between recipients for each of the three operational components: innovation, integration and implementation. The NOFO would create a new analytical tool development program through a cooperative agreement in support of state and local decision-makers, seeking out those best suited for each jurisdiction, based on best available information. Data will be a joint prospect, supported by private, academic and jurisdiction partners, to aid public health decisions before and during emergencies.

Advanced modeling is the focus here, in a manner not so different from hurricane predictions. Scientists want to be able to give leaders better predictions of future outbreak trajectories.

The innovation component will focus on development of analytical methods, tools or platforms for modeling efforts. Integration will take the most promising of the former’s creations and pilot test one or two approaches at the state, local, Tribal or territorial level to gauge their success in practical application. When implementation rolls around, successful pilot projects will be taken and scaled for use across jurisdictions, providing effective analytical tools and approaches for the local level of public health.

These local deployments are where many key public health decisions are made that can make or break response, according to the CDC.

Applications are due by July 14, 2023.