9 researchers get €2.9m in EU emergency Covid-19 funding

Irish researchers and innovators awarded over €2.9m in funding in response to Covid-19 emergency.

Nine Irish researchers and companies were awarded over €2.9m under the European Commission’s €128.2m funding action in response to Covid-19.

In all 23 projects were short-listed for the €128.2m funding action involving 347 research teams from 40 countries in Europe.

“This announcement is a great success for Ireland and is testament to the capability and talent within the Irish research and innovation system”

Projects were funded in the areas of rapid repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment (€22.1m), behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak responses (€28 million), pan-European Covid-19 cohorts (€19.9m) and collaboration of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to Covid-19 (€3m) and medical technologies, digital tools and artificial intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at High Technology Readiness Levels (€55.2m).

Irish applicants did particularly well in the area of medical technologies, digital tools and artificial Intelligence analytics.

Irish researchers punch above their weight

These include Enterprise Ireland client Palliare Limited is coordinating a project focusing on controlling viral aerosols in Covid-19 and beyond.

Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, TUDublin, and Cork spin-out BioPixS Limited are also all partners in successful consortia. For example, BioPixS is a key member of a consortia led by Spanish researchers working on a portable platform for the assessment of microvascular health in Covid-19 patients at the intensive care.

Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar, CEO, BioPixS commented: “In VASCOVID, our novel phantoms will fast track instrument development by enabling standardized approach to characterisation/verification, and also provide quality control during day to day operations of VASCOVID device. A spinout of IPIC/Tyndall/UCC, this is a proud moment for us to positively impact on the challenges posed by this pandemic by partnering with leading institutes across Europe.”

Rise to the challenge

Enterprise Ireland said it encourages all Irish researchers and innovators to look at the remaining opportunities under the Programme and to contact their National Contact Points in Enterprise Ireland and across the Horizon 2020 national support network for information, guidance and expert support in evaluating opportunities and making applications.

“This announcement is a great success for Ireland and is testament to the capability and talent within the Irish research and innovation system particularly in areas relevant to the challenges posed by Covid-19,” said Garrett Murray, national director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland.

“As citizens we rely on our innovators and researchers to help us overcome some our greatest societal challenges and as drivers of economic growth.”

To date, Irish companies and researchers have been awarded and contracted in excess of €987m in funding under Horizon 2020 – with more in the pipeline.

Murray said that continues to be many opportunities for Irish enterprises and researchers under the Horizon 2020 Programme, including calls for proposals under the European Green Deal, worth circa €1bn that will be issued in the autumn.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 12 August, 2020