Joan Ballester, from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), has been one of the 166 researchers to receive the “Proof of Concept” grant from the European Research Council (ERC). These grants are part of the European Union research and innovation program, Horizon Europe.
Each grant provides €150,000 as a complementary contribution to pioneering research that has already been funded by the ERC in previous calls. These grants can be used over a period of 18 months to verify previously generated scientific concepts, create patents, or exploit business opportunities.
The current project of Joan Ballester’s team (Operational Heat-Health – Social Early Warning System) is based on the epidemiological models they had previously developed and seeks to create an early warning system for high temperatures. The researcher explains that “the ERC grant will help us to create a web portal that can predict the impact of heat on the health of the population”. He added that “we are taking into account how the heat affects different epidemiological groups (divided according to age, sex, etc.), which allows us to make a more accurate prediction for each of them”.
“The ERC grant will help us create a web portal that can predict the impact of heat on the health of the population, differentiating between epidemiological groups”
“The predictability of this operating system may be of great interest to public health agencies. It would help activate contingency plans and necessary measures before high temperatures appear. This could protect the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or women, who are more sensitive to the effects of heat”, concludes Ballester.