The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coordination Initiative (CRCI) is a province-wide program developed in partnership with partners across B.C.

It is aimed at creating innovative health systems and structures capable of capturing and collating collective input and feedback to enable the prioritization and coordination of COVID-19 translational research. Activities also include the coordination of research related activities, the identification of research gaps, sharing of resources and liaising with the provincial health system.

The CRCI is based on the fundamental belief that together we are stronger. Through greater collaboration and the participation of many players in translational research — including patients, clinicians on the front lines of care, scientists, engineers, educators and trainees, as well as health authorities, provincial government, industry, regulatory and funding partners — we will accelerate new knowledge to combat COVID-19.

There are many COVID-19 research activities and coordination efforts underway, serving a range of individuals and organizations – and also serving as valuable contributors to and components of a provincial research response. This includes the Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC) – supported by Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and reporting to the Provincial Health Officer and government – universities, health authorities, provincial funders, B.C.’s Academic Health Science Network, and others. Complementing these efforts, the CRCI has been formed to help coordinate research efforts in support of the priorities articulated in the SRAC’s framework document.

This B.C.-led initiative includes representation from academic institutions, regional health authorities, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the B.C. Ministry of Health.

Current CRCI Activities

A number of new CRCI activities and enhancements are underway to support researchers and their activities along the translational medicine continuum, including:

  • The urgent need for a provincial COVID-19 biobank and working toward resourcing and launching this as an immediate priority;
  • Creating a partnership with REACH BC to establish a provincial platform for patient participation in COVID-19 research; and
  • Maintaining an inventory of active COVID-19 funding opportunities designed to support researchers and their teams.

As momentum builds for this transformative initiative, please visit this website for regular updates regarding new activities and supports for the research community.

Benefits for Researchers

  • Maximizing investigator time and clinical resources by ensuring research activities are coordinated and aligned.
    • Ensuring critical research is coordinated and aligned with clinical services to prioritize the use of limited clinical material, clinical trial capability, and other clinical resources.
    • Creating centralized support for coordinated data collection and access.
  • Providing researchers with access to critical research resources, including access to registry of COVID-19 patients and data (including clinical phenotype and biobank data).
  • Connecting researchers who want to get involved in COVID-19 research – or provide scientific input – to appropriate opportunities.
  • Providing a central communication platform to streamline critical communications, including those regarding:
    • Funding opportunities;
    • Provincial, national and international research collaborations and activities; and
    • Other key communications.
  • Creating centralized support for coordinated data collection and access.

Benefits for the citizens of British Columbia

  • Ensures that the COVID-19 research that is conducted in B.C. is supported and best positioned for success.
  • Improves opportunities for patients to find and participate in research in B.C.
  • Maximizes the use of valuable research resources (including samples) and data across multiple research studies to most effectively support innovation.

Structure of the CRCI