Wednesday, 29 April 2020 – The Government today announced details of the first 26 projects that will receive €5 million funding under the newly-established national, coordinated research and innovation response to the COVID-19 pandemic, complementing the ongoing research work already underway in higher education institutions
Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “Research, development and innovation will play a significant role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects announced today are part of a national drive to find solutions to the challenges we face. Right across the country, our research community in our higher education institutions and businesses, both indigenous and foreign owned, have mobilised to address these key issues. The projects announced today, which take in health and social care as well as policy and industry, will help to address how we can ease the restrictions over time and get the country back up-and-running again.”
The research projects are part of a broader initiative by the Irish State to mitigate and manage the COVID-19 pandemic by unlocking the potential of Irish based researchers and innovators, and to complement similar work around the world. All of the projects were internationally peer reviewed at the assessment stage.
More than 350 applications were received with these final 26 proving successful.
The 26 projects cover a huge range of areas including:
- Creating a secure, reliable supply of high-quality reagents to enable large-scale testing
- Producing PPE for frontline health staff using state-of-the-art 3D printing equipment.
- Tracking the genetics of the COVID-19 virus in Ireland
- Online resources to support healthcare professionals who have answered Ireland’s call for COVID-19
- Why don’t we keep our distance? Evidence for more effective communication in the pandemic
- Getting a measure of silent infection: a key to COVID-19 recovery planning
Minister for Health Simon Harris said: “Research and development is critical to supporting Ireland’s National Action Plan in response to COVID-19 and in navigating a way forward for individuals, communities and society as a whole. In these extraordinary circumstances,I am delighted to see such collaboration and coordination in a collective battle against COVID-19. These projects have real potential to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of patients, families, healthcare workers and the healthcare system. In particular, having suitable treatments or vaccines is the best exit strategy from COVID-19 and the related restrictions we are living with so I am committed to ensuring a coordinated and proactive approach is taken to ensuring that COVID-19 patients across all settings in Ireland have access to new and emerging treatments as part of clinical trials.”
This initiative is overseen by a coordinated Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme established by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, the Health Research Board (HRB) and Irish Research Council (IRC).
Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan
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Researchers across higher education and all disciplines have self-mobilised to re-direct research activity toward the national response to COVID-19. All of our universities and institutes of technology have developed research, innovation and/ or technical assistance projects that are adding significantly to the national effort to combat the virus and assist us on the path to recovery. A Research sub-group of the Senior Officials Group has been working to facilitate an exchange of views across Government and provide an overview of research programmes, priorities, and gaps relating to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.