Research funding made available by Government to tackle coronavirus

27 Mar 2020

Image: © PhotoGranary/

SFI, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and others have joined forces to offer researchers funding as part of a new call for a rapid response to the coronavirus outbreak.

As the world comes to grips with Covid-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – a cross-Government funding call has been announced for researchers working to better understand it, contain it or treat it. This call is being supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

Some of the potential areas the call identifies include new technologies for contact tracing; better supply of frontline healthcare services through ventilators and personal protective equipment; rapid Covid-19 testing kits; and mitigation measures for disruption to essential services and supply chains.

The call is open to any research organisation, client company of one of the Government bodies, or a combination of both. The announcement said that involvement of Government departments or public service bodies is strongly encouraged, but any organisation is welcome to submit a proposal.

Up to €200,000 available

People are also being called on to get in touch if they have identified a serious problem and want to highlight it to innovators and researchers to find a solution. The document detailing eligibility, as well as the terms and conditions, said an application deadline has not been set and will remain open until further notice.

All agencies said that given the exceptional circumstances of life under physical distancing and limited movement, they are taking into consideration that a “flexible and pragmatic approach” is needed in order to facilitate any applications.

These government bodies will cooperate with a second rapid response call put out by a joint effort between the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council. This is targeted at mid-level and senior career researchers across the island of Ireland who can avail of up to €200,000 in funding, or more in exceptional circumstances.

The closing date for applications for this funding call is 9 April, with a decision expected on 22 April.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic