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NRBC risks: the CEA coordinator for the COUNTERACT project

The CEA coordinates the European project COUNTERACT which aims to reinforce the European Union’s preparedness for nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical (NRBC) threats.

Published on 6 January 2023

COUNTERACT is co-funded for 49 million euros by the European Defence Fund1 and aims to set up pre-clinical and clinical studies on the safety and efficiency of medical countermeasures targeting NRBC-type threats.

The project will cover a four-year period and started in December 2022. This project brings together key European players: 26 partners from 11 EU Member states (five universities; three technological research bodies, including the CEA; ten public research institutes; eight SME and start-ups).


  • Develop and mature four types of medical countermeasures, for which two will aim to achieve the stage of application for authorization to place the products on the market by the European medicines Agency;
  • Promote EU independence in the development and production of countermeasures against NRBC threats by establishing a European network of sustainable industries, research laboratories, research bodies and clinical centers, aiming to achieve a flexible and efficient umbrella structure for the health sector targeting defense;
  • Draw up a road map for the development of the future generation of medical countermeasures against current and future threats, simplify the process for obtaining market authorizations, guarantee independent EU supply chains and prepare storage and deployment strategies.

COUNTERACT aims to prepare the European Union to face current and future NRBC threats with the support of a European public-private ecosystem. The CEA will provide its full range of confirmed scientific expertise, renowned in the fields of virology, immunology, pharmacology and radiobiology, for this large-scale project.” Roger Le Grand, Idmit2 director at CEA and COUNTERACT project coordinator.
COUNTERACT brings together research teams with unique expertise at the European level and the medicine industries for the purpose of developing medical countermeasures to cover NRBC threats. These countermeasures must be effective, and quick and easy to deploy. With COUNTERACT, our aim is also to structure European players in this sector into a responsive and flexible network able to speed up the pre-clinical and clinical development of medical countermeasures.” Nathalie Bosquet, deputy director of the COUNTERACT project.


  • CEA and its Subcontractors SUB1- Totalforsvarets Forskningstinstitut (FOI) et SUB2- ARTTIC SAS (ARTTIC)
  • Amsterdam UMC (AMC) 
  • Bundeswehr Institute of Radiobiology (IRr)
  • Université De Tours (Univ. Tours) and its affiliated entity AE1- Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)
  • Direction de la Formation, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation (DFRI) du Service De Santé Des Armées (SSA)
  • Infrastructure Européenne de Recherche sur les agents hautement pathogènes (ERINHA) and its affiliated entities AE1- Nemzeti Nepegeszsegugyi Kozpont (NNK), AE2- Folkhalsomyndigheten (FOHM) et AE3-Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) 
  • Fabentech (FBT) 
  • Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) 
  • Myelo Therapeutics Gmbh (Mt) and its subcontractors SUB1- Pivotal S.L.U (PIVOTAL) et SUB2- Convex Ltd (CONVEX), SUB 3 and 4 are to be determined 
  • National University of Ireland Galway (NUI-GWY) 
  • Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) 
  • SoftOx Defense Solutions AS (SOFTOX) 
  • Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNO (TNO)
  • Univerzita Obrany (UNOB) 
  • Wirtschaftsgenissenschaft Deutscher Tierarzte EG (WDT) 
  • Wojskowy Instytut Higieny I Epidemiologii (WIHIE) 
  • Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny - Państwowy Instytut Badawczy (WIM MIM) 
  • Cr Competence AB (CRC) 
  • Kobenhavns Universitet (UCPH)

1The Fund supports competitive and collaborative projects throughout the entire cycle of research and development for a bigger impact on the European defence capability and industrial landscape. To learn more: The European Defence Fund (EDF) (

2Infectious Disease Models and Innovative Therapies, mixed research unit set up at the CEA site in Fontenay-aux-Roses.

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