24 September 2020: Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, has today announced an investment of €5.5 million in 41 projects under the SFI led COVID-19 Rapid Response Research and Innovation Programme.

The 41 projects cover a wide range of areas including:

  • How to reduce damage to the skin on the face from PPE;
  • How we can decontaminate and provide face masks for reuse;
  • How to detect novel airborne surveillance of SARS-CoV2 in healthcare and airport environments;
  • The development of plastic packaging and firm resistant to Covid-19;
  • Early detection of secondary waves of COVID‐19 infection
  • Coronavirus-resistant plastic to reduce the risk of infection
  • The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 control measures
  • Protect Against COVID using Robot-Assisted Ultraviolet Disinfection
  • Home monitoring of respiration in COVID-19 patients using smartphone technology
  • Investigating Psychological and Social Effects of COVID-19
  • The COVID-19 Irish Citizens’ Online Forum
  • Saliva sampling for the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19

Announcing the awards Minister Harris, said: “Today I am pleased to announce a further investment of €5.5 million in research and innovation related to COVID-19. It is clear this virus is with us for a significant period of time and yet we still have a lot to learn about it."

"Research, development and innovation will play a significant role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic."

"The 41 projects announced today are part of a national drive to find solutions to the challenges we face now, and to help us prepare to live in a changing environment that requires new thinking and innovative approaches. I would like to congratulate all of the researchers receiving funding today and thank them for their efforts in Ireland’s collective response to COVID-19.”

Commenting on the awards, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said: “The COVID-19 Rapid Response Research and Innovation funding is critical to supporting Ireland’s National Action Plan in response to the pandemic. The projects announced today will play a pivotal role in developing societal and economic solutions to challenges we face. This is the fourth announcement of COVID-19 funding from SFI to support research projects across a number of Higher Education Institutes. In the global response to COVID-19, collaboration and partnership are key, so I am delighted that funding for 41 more outstanding projects is announced today. As a nation, we are stronger when we work together, and we will continue to generate solutions to the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The COVID-19 Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme was established by SFI, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council.

Today’s announcement builds on SFI’s previous investment of €8 million across 17 COVID-19 research and innovation projects.  All of the projects funded have been internationally peer reviewed at the assessment stage.