The pace of scientific discovery and tool generation during the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented—something with positive implications, not just for COVID and future pandemics, but for global health in general. COVID-focused work has accelerated the de-risking of a variety of approaches and technologies with promise for impact across global infectious diseases, among which, the reduction of mRNA vaccine platforms to practice provides a key example. There are clear lessons to be learned from COVID: about accelerating science with worldwide networks of collaboration and innovation; about the fruitful exploitation of platform technologies; and about the need for equitably distributed and nurtured capacity. It is critical this new pace of innovation and collective action for global infectious diseases continues beyond the current pandemic and is applied to the residual pandemics of HIV, malaria and TB. This meeting aims to capture the landscape change in discovery and translational science driven by the response to COVID-19, focusing on novel approaches to the prophylaxis, therapy and control of infectious diseases.