COVID-19 - Research projets and networks

In response to the actual COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission (EC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), as well as other national and international organisations, have launched special calls to find ways of overcoming the public health threat of COVID-19 pandemic.


Horizon 2020 - EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
The European Commission has scaled up the emergency call launched in January to fight the COVID-19 outbreak to €47.5 million. This allowed to select 17 projects (list of selected projects at the bottom of this page) involving 136 research teams from across the EU and beyond (7 partners from Switzerland), which have started working on developing vaccines, new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical systems aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Commission boosts urgently needed research and innovation with additional €122 million
The Commission has mobilised another €122 million from its research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, for urgently needed research into the coronavirus. The new call for expressions of interest contributes to the Commission's €1.4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, launched by President Ursula von der Leyen on 4 May 2020. Read more.

Coronavirus: €117 million granted for treatments and diagnostics through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
On 12 May, €117 million were granted to eight large-scare research projects for treatments and diagnostics through IMIIn 3 projects there are scientists from Switzerland, more info in this facthsheet.

Find here the latest IMI news on COVID-19 related projects


Closed Calls:
Second call for an Expression of Interest for innovative and rapid health-related approaches to respond to COVID-19 and to deliver quick results for society for a higher level of preparedness of health systems.

Call update: SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2 (closed on 11 June 2020)
Closed the 11th of June 2020
454 proposals have been submitted.
Total budget 122 M€. Link

Focus areas:

Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment.
Types of action:Innovation action
36 proposals submitted

Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)
Types of action:Innovation action
221 proposals submitted

Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response
Types of action:Research and Innovation action
162 proposals submitted

Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts
Types of action:Research and Innovation action
21 proposals submitted

Networking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19
Types of action:Coordination and support action
14 proposals submitted

Advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response to the 2019-nCoV epidemic
Type of action: RIA Research and Innovation action Deadline Model: single-stage
Closed the 12th of February 2020
Evaluation results: Flash information on the Call results Flash (Flash call info)

Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections
Type of action: IMI2-RIA Research and Innovation action Deadline Model: single-stage
Closed the 31st of March 2020
Evaluation results: Flash information on the Call results (Flash Call Info)

COVID-19 Outbreak: Latest News (Euresearch)
The latest news concerning the COVID-19 outbreak and the most important links for your information.

European Research Council (ERC):
European Research Council (ERC) - Frontier research at the service of the coronavirus epidemic response. How can frontier science help fight the current COVID-19 outbreak?

List of ERC-funded research projects related to coronavirus, epidemiology and virology as well as other relevant disciplines.

Update of the Coronavirus - business continuity measures at the ERC

COVID-19 Crisis: IP Pro Bono Support Wanted!
In light of the severe impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on European SMEs, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has launched the COVID-19 pro bono hub. It offers a tailor-made service to match SMEs to providers of free-of-charge IP legal representation and advice throughout the EU. Read more

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Two new calls under Horizon 2020 help tackling the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The EU and the African Union work also on a closer partnership in general.


SNSF – Swiss National Science Foundation
On this page, you will find all information relevant to the coronavirus crisis. The page is regularly updated. Your questions on projects, deadlines and grants are answered in the FAQs.

Find also on the EC Europa website a dedicated page listing all Swiss COVID Funding programmes.

Closed Calls:
The special call on Coronaviruses closed on 25 March 2020. It addressed researchers in all disciplines who are able to contribute to a better understanding of the virus, its spread, the resulting illness as well as diagnosis and treatment, or who can help the health system and society as a whole deal more effectively with the epidemic.

28 new coronavirus research projects funded under NRP "COVID-19"
Mandated by the Federal Council, the SNSF launched the National Research Programme "COVID-19" (NRP 78) on 30 April 2020 to advance our understanding of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), provide recommendations for clinical management and public health, and expedite the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Read more

Applications submitted: 190
Applications rejected for formal reasons: 1
Applications retracted: 1
Applications evaluated: 188
Projects approved in biomedicine, clinical research, epidemiology and prevention: 23 out of 154
Projects approved in mathematics, natural and engineering sciences: 1 out of 19
Projects approved in the humanities and social sciences: 4 out of 15

SNSF finances WHO study in Switzerland on Covid-19 treatment
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a trial to test the efficacy and side-effects of potential antiviral drugs in treating Covid-19 (solidarity trial).
Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (NSF) and in collaboration with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), CHUV is coordinating Switzerland’s participation in the “Solidarity” study.
The study started March 2020 and is expected to run until March 2021.

New COVID-19 Project Registry
This new SNSF database offers an overview of research on COVID-19 that has been funded by the SNSF and Innosuisse, as well as Horizon 2020 projects with Swiss participation. The registry lists research projects in Switzerland from all disciplines that contribute to a better understanding of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

COVID-evidence: a living database of trials on interventions for COVID-19


Other research programmes

Swiss Bilateral Programme of SERI
Special COVID-19 Call for Projects Grants with Asia.
Eligibility: All senior scientists of Swiss federal and cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences, universities of teacher education, as well as public research institutes are eligible to apply.
Funding: max. 25k CHF per project
Closed the 30 August 2020
Read More on the Leading House Asia webpage.

Federal Council - Coronavirus: launch of the "Swiss Innovation Force" stimulus program (in French)
Bern, 11.11.2020 - On November 11, 2020, the Federal Council decided to launch the "Swiss Innovation Force" stimulus program through Innosuisse, the Agency for the Encouragement of Innovation. This program, which provides for an easing of financial conditions for the encouragement of projects, aims to preserve the innovative strength of companies during the pandemic and to ensure their long-term competitiveness. The increase in the spending limit for Innosuisse for the years 2021 to 2024, which has been adopted by Parliament, will absorb the additional costs.

Research Professional
Research Professional provides authoritative news, analysis and comment that helps institutions make better decisions on research policy, research funding and research politics.
The Ex Libris Research Professional and Pivot® funding services are providing free access to a list of select funding opportunities related to combatting the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Coronavirus and COVID-19 Related Funding Opportunities from Research Professional and Pivot

NIH - National Institutes of Health
NIH Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19 are available via this link.

EUREKA – Innovation Across Borders
COVID-19 call for projects open and national initiatives. Read more.
The call “Solutions for the next human high-impact pandemic” is now closed.

DARIAH Calls for Humanities and the Arts (now closed)
The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) has launched two calls on "Arts Exchanges" and "Arts, Humanities and COVID-19". 
Closed the 18th of September 2020


Other related information

The Swiss Federal Council
In the current crisis, the federal government wants to exploit the potential available in the Swiss scientific community to an even greater extent by working with scientists to find the best approach to overcoming the pandemic. To this end, it has set up a science task force of researchers from higher education institutions throughout the country.

Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force

Coronavirus Data Sharing Platform
The European Commission launched its Data Sharing Platform on Coronavirus research on 20 April 2020, for quick and efficient data sharing and exchange among relevant research stakeholders.
EC Communication

COVID-19 (International) Observatory for Research
This document provides good information and an overview of the most relevant actions taken related to Covid-19.

EIC COVID Platform
EIC COVID-19 uses Joinup solution to create a space for addressing challenges.
The EIC COVID-19 challenge platform was created by the EIC Task Force as a follow up to the challenges presented at the EU vs Virus hackathon. The platform is a collaborative space where public and private procurers, local authorities and large corporates can post their challenges responding to the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts that have not yet been met by solutions from the market. Innovators, companies and researchers can respond to these challenges with their innovative solutions.

The Human Brain Project’s research capacity in the fight against COVID-19
The Spotlight Series of the Human Brain Project presents how the flagship’s researchers use their expertise and e-infrastructure to contribute in the global fight against the novel coronavirus.
Read more.

The Crowdhelix Network
Crowdhelix is seeking researchers & innovators worldwide with a strong track record of excellence in fields relevant to the global effort to tackle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Call for Expert Collaborators: COVID-19 Response

The unique forum convening public and private sector leaders for networking, intelligence and debates on research and innovation has launched a special page dedicated to COVID-19 research, news and funding sources.

LIVE BLOG: R&D response to COVID-19 pandemic

EU considers new Horizon Europe partnership on pandemic

New European platform

Care & Industry together against CORONA offers the opportunity to make targeted and time-efficient contacts with all actors in healthcare, industry, academia and government.

Mobile Health Solutions Relevant for COVID-19
Many governments, companies and citizen movements have developed mHealth initiatives to keep the population informed and help manage the COVID-19 crisis. A compilation of some of the initiatives at European level has been created by the EU-funded "European mHealth Hub" project. Read more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Power to Combat COVID-19
The fight against COVID-19 has pushed AI instruments centre stage in the search for innovative ways to limit the spread and develop treatments and a vaccine. Read more.

European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT)
Combating Covid-19 with innovation
The EIT has repurposed activities to contribute to the fight against Covid-19 with connections, hackathons and innovative solutions from its vast community. Read more.

Citizen science resources related to the COVID19 pandemic
Selection of resources related to the current COVID19 pandemic. It contains links to citizen science and crowdsourcing projects.

Joint Research Centre (JRC)
The JRC collects, monitors and distributes information on the coronavirus crisis in Europe. This interesting webpage of the JRC is a map on which daily the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths as well type of restrictions per country.

Mobility data provides insights into virus spread and containment to help inform future responses

New studies published the 14th July by the JRC explain the relationship between human mobility and the spread of coronavirus, as well as the effectiveness of mobility restriction measures to contain the pandemic. Read more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - EU response, JRC research and actions, additional info

COVID-19 in Vitro Diagnostic Devices and Test Methods Database
As part of the EU efforts to provide guidance on the use of corona virus tests, the JRC has created a database of COVID-19 in vitro diagnostic devices and test methods. It contains publicly available information, including performance elements and collated relevant scientific literature. Read more.

SwissCore - Contact Office for European Research, Innovation and Education

Shining light on the Covid research funding jungle
The EC launched a one-stop shop for Covid-19 R&I funding and projects, several other platforms follow suit to create an overview and support researchers. Read more.

Public-private partnerships combat coronavirus
Horizon 2020 and partnerships have ramped up actions addressing the coronavirus crisis with reallocated budget, fast-track calls and Covid-specific topics. Read more.

Towards post-COVID-19 university funding
The EUA published a briefing in which the authors look back at the 2008 financial crisis to draw conclusions for university funding now and in the future. Read more.

Covid-19 strengthens EU-Japan research ties
Japan and the EU strengthen cooperation in science, technology and innovation with a Letter of Intent and agree to join efforts in combating Covid-19. Read more.

Teaming up to fight COVID-19
POCOVIDSCREEN, one of the winning teams of the EUvsVirus hackathon, is giving a great example of successful international collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. Read more

Interesting article on managing the corona crisis and planning recovery.

WIPO Tool to Track IP Policy Information during COVID-19 Pandemic
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a new tool that tracks COVID-19 related IP policy changes or other measures being implemented by WIPO member states in their response to the global pandemic. Read more

Forecasting the Coronavirus Pandemic with Help from EU Projects
The whole world is currently dealing with a novel coronavirus pandemic and we all want to try to understand what the future may hold. Using computer-based models could allow us to keep up with the spread and evolution of the pandemic. Read more.

A unique drug to eradicate several viruses simultaneously
NOVIRUSES2BRAIN is an ongoing research project, funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program. Its ambition is to develop a unique drug able to eradicate multiple viral species simultaneously. Read more., a web app to help preserve our mental health and develop our ability to adapt to the crisis caused by Covid-19

World Pandemic Research Network
Societal Impacts and Aftermath of Covid-19: A Global Searchable Directory

The World Pandemic Research Network (WPRN) is a platform serving research communities. It maintains a searchable global directory of the scientific resources available on the societal and human impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It shows who works on what, where, in real time, at global level.

Using European supercomputing, EU-funded research project demonstrates promising results for potential treatment
The EU-funded consortium Exscalate4CoV  is using a supercomputing platform, one of the world's most powerful, to check the potential impact of known molecules against the genomic structure of coronavirus. Read more.

Innovative Medecines Initiative - IMI

COVID-19 diagnostics project DECISION gets underway
DECISION researchers are working on a while-you-wait throwaway testing kit that works by amplifying the virus’ genetic material . Read more.

IMI’s EHDEN and ConcePTION projects to work with EMA on COVID-19
The EHDEN and ConcePTION projects plus the ADVANCE/VAC4EU initiative will help the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gather real world data on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments once they are approved and being used in day-to-day clinical practice. Read more.

Previous IMI investments are proving prescient in the current COVID-19 crisisan opinion piece by Pierre Meulien


Further information:
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National and Lemanic research programmes
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Please always refer to official web sites fo the programs