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Covid-19 research projects will get five million euros injection

The research will be relevant to the various phases of the Covid-19 crisis.

Some 26 new Covid-19 research and innovation projects will receive a five million euro cash injection, the government has confirmed.

The projects will address key areas such as frontline healthcare, diagnostics, infection control, contact tracing, mental health and potential treatments.

It will also address the management of the mitigation measures related to social distancing and isolation.

Dr Darrin Morrissey, chief executive of the Health Research Board (HRB), said that the projects will help to better understand Covid-19 and how it affects people in different ways.

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said that this a first tranche of funding under the rapid response research and innovation call.

Speaking at Government Buildings on Wednesday, Dr Morrissey said: “We know Covid-19 knows no boundaries.

“These projects aim to recognise and put in place solutions for vulnerable groups like older people, people living with intellectual disability, people living with life-limiting illnesses, and people that with autism.

“They aim tackle social and behavioral challenges, including the challenges around social distancing and sustainable social distancing.”

Ms Humphreys added: “The initiative is a collaboration between five government agencies.

They aim tackle social and behavioral challenges, including the challenges around social distancing and sustainable social distancingProfessor Mark Ferguson

“We asked them to come together to design a fund to support our best and brightest ideas in the context of the pandemic.

“As a small nation with limited resources, we must work together to maximise opportunities and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.

“We’re lucky in this country to have a world class researchers in our higher education institutes working in a diverse range of innovative companies, both indigenous and multinational, that can quickly pivot to deliver projects, treatments and interventions as needed.

“All of the proposals have been internationally peer-reviewed and experts have worked remotely to provide the feedback and ensure that we select the best projects.

“This work continues and there are plenty more projects in the pipeline, many of which will involve Irish companies, both homegrown and foreign owned.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland, said that the research will be relevant to the various phases of the Covid-19 crisis.

“You will know that we will soon face challenges with reopening our economy and that will be addressed in future applications,” he added.

“We are not alone, governments around the world are addressing this and we are connected to the global research system.”

PA