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 – 8th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

The European Commission has been at the forefront of supporting research and innovation and coordinating European and global research efforts, including preparedness for pandemics. In addition to a number of past and ongoing research actions related to coronaviruses and outbreaks, the Commission launched several special actions in 2020.

Up till September 2020, the EU has already invested €458.9 million from Horizon 2020, its research and innovation programme, in 103 projects specifically targeting the pandemic (not including loans from the Horizon 2020 InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility or the €5.9 million top-up to projects funded from non-COVID-19 calls).

By the end of 2020, the EU intended to invest €1 billion into research and innovation to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences.
Read more

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) : €117 million granted for treatments and diagnostics
On 12 May 2020, €117 million were granted to eight large-scare research projects for treatments and diagnostics through IMI. Three projects have the participation of Swiss scientists, more info in this facthsheet.

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

COVID-19 diagnostics project DECISION gets underway

IMI’s EHDEN and ConcePTION projects to work with EMA on COVID-19

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


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:


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)


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.


Horizon Europe – 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

The Horizon EuropeWork Programmes for ‘Health’ and ‘Research Infrastructures’, with four specific actions as part of the EU response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the rising spread of SARS-CoV-2variants, were adopted and published on 31 March 2021 on the Horizon Europe Funding and Tenders Portal

COVID19 emergency call is open with deadline on 6 May 2021.
The call is called an emergency action.
The new proposal templates for Horizon Europe shall be used.
The 4 topics are:
a) HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01: FAIR and open data sharing in support to European preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
b) HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-02: Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics
c) HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01: Vaccines & therapeutic clinical trials to boost COVID-19 prevention and treatment
d) HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-02: Cohorts united against COVID-19 variants of concern.

Information on these 4 topics (recording from the EC):

Participants from Switzerland are eligible for funding from the EU even if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned does not apply at the time of signature of the grant agreement

N.B. All the proposals that submit should collaborate with already ongoing COVID19 projects financed from last year calls. A list of the projects with partners from Switzerland via the following link:


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

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

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.


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

European Research Area (ERA)
Initiatives tackling COVID-19, regulary updated by European Research Area

European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform - Switzerland (updated regularly)

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 information about 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.

World Health Organisation (WHO)
Global Research on Covid-19

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.

Exscalate4Cov performs the most complex supercomputing experiment to identify new therapies for COVID-19
The Exscalate4CoV consortium, coordinated by Dompé farmaceutici, has conducted the biggest supercomputing experiment ever done on the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to find potential drugs to treat COVID-19.

EU and South Korean research organisations sign an agreement to work together on the development of a COVID-19 treatment using Raloxifene.

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 2020 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.

DNDi and partners launch ANTICOV trial in 13 African countries
Treating mild cases is urgently needed to halt progression to severe disease and prevent spikes in hospitalization that could overwhelm already fragile health systems. The ANTICOV trial brings together African and global science and public health leaders from 26 institutions and will enrol up to 3,000 participants across 13 countries.

EU Science Hub
Google search data provides insights about EU citizens’ concerns during the coronavirus pandemic (June 2020)

Europe PMC
European Pubmed Central (PMC)

Further information:

Research Services remain at your full disposal for any further information or advice.

National and Lemanic research programmes
European and international research programmes

Please always refer to official web sites of the programs