Nine Irish researchers secure €2.9m in EU funding for coronavirus projects

12 Aug 2020

Image: © karn/

The European Commission announced €128m in new funding for Covid-19 research projects to rapidly limit the effects of the disease on society.

Following a call for applicants to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative in May, the European Commission has announced 23 successful research projects that will receive funding under its €1.4bn emergency funding deal.

The 23 latest projects will receive a total of €128m. This involves 347 research teams from 40 countries, including 34 participants from 16 countries outside of the EU.

The purpose of the initiative is to address the pandemic and its consequences by boosting manufacturing industries, developing medtech and improving our understanding of behavioural and socioeconomic impacts.

Two of these 23 projects will be led by Irish teams under the ‘medical technologies, digital tools and AI’ grouping that has received a total of €55.2m in funding. In total, nine Irish researchers have been awarded €2.9m under the fund.

Galway-based Enterprise Ireland client Palliare will lead the ‘Porsav’ project along with two other Irish partners and one each from France and Poland. Its purpose is to develop technology to control viral aerosols in Covid-19 and other diseases.

Last month, the company announced it had received US FDA pre-market notification clearance for its Eva insufflator and smoke evacuation system for laparoscopic, endolumenal, endoscopic and robotic surgical procedures.

A second project called Covid-X, led by a team from the Irish branch of the F6S network, is working on what it calls a ‘Covid Exponential Programme’. The project includes partner groups from nine other countries including Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Sweden.

‘A proud moment for us’

Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, TU Dublin and Cork spin-out BioPixS are also all partners in successful consortia. BioPixS is part of the Vascovid project working to develop a portable platform for the assessment of microvascular health in Covid-19 patients in intensive care.

BioPixS’s CEO, Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar, said: “This is a proud moment for us to positively impact on the challenges posed by this pandemic by partnering with leading institutes across Europe.”

Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for the internal market, said of this latest funding: “The excellent response to this call shows the wealth of new ideas to tackle coronavirus, including new digital health solutions. Digital solutions and technologies enabled us to stay connected and interact with each other during the confinement.”

Garrett Murray, national director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland, added that the funding is a “great success for 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,” he said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic