FAPESP will fund research to combat COVID-19
March 25, 2020
Agência FAPESP – FAPESP has issued two calls for proposals through which it will invest BRL 30 million in research initiatives to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and to stimulate micro and small businesses to develop projects that result in technological innovations for use in diagnosing and treating the sick.
“The fight against epidemics, and diseases generally, is always a complex process that requires technical actions, training of personnel, and science-based political decisions. These two emergency calls from FAPESP are designed to fund the development of good ideas for combating the epidemic, both with regard to scientific knowledge of the pathogen, its effects on the human organism and how to treat the disease, and with regard to technology, especially the creation of products and services that strengthen our capacity to fight the disease,” said Marco Antonio Zago, President of FAPESP.
In the first call FAPESP will make available BRL 10 million in supplementary funding for ongoing research projects, in the form of research grants for Thematic Projects and Young Investigator Grants, and for Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) and Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) to redirect their research lines to target the understanding, management and prevention of COVID-19, and to mitigate the risks associated with SARS-CoV-2.
FAPESP expects the calls to boost work by researchers in the state of São Paulo on the development of diagnostic tests, therapies and therapeutic procedures, studies of critical aspects of the viral infection, and research on clinical procedures, immune responses, epidemiology and methods of containing and minimizing counterproductive behavior toward the epidemic, among other challenges relating to COVID-19.
Research projects must last 24 months. Per project funding will be capped at BRL 200,000. Applicants have until June 22, 2020, to submit proposals.
In the second call FAPESP offers a special funding line under the aegis of its Innovative Research in Small Business Program – PIPE (Phase 3), in partnership with FINEP, the Brazilian government’s innovation agency. The total amount available is BRL 20 million. Applicants must be micro and small businesses or startups aiming to implement or scale up innovative processes and products relating to the disease, such as diagnostic kits, medical ventilators, personal protective equipment for health workers, and solutions based on digital technology and artificial intelligence for health services or patient care.
In PIPE Phase 3, made possible by an agreement between FAPESP and FINEP, businesses have 24 months to develop an innovative product or process industrially and commercially. Each project approved in this call will receive up to BRL 1.5 million. Applicants have until April 6, 2020, to submit proposals. The deadline may be extended for two weeks if the amount of funding available exceeds the applications.
“FAPESP will select proposals submitted by startups and firms with up to 250 employees for the development of innovative processes and services, so that the resulting products can be brought to market in an emergency situation such as this. I’m referring to the development of diagnostic tests, portable ventilators and digital solutions to track dissemination of the virus, among others,” said Carlos Américo Pacheco, CEO of FAPESP.
The expectation is that the research community and technology-based companies in the state of São Paulo will offer solutions that contribute to the fight against COVID-19 with the same commitment and competence as they have displayed in the fight against recent outbreaks of yellow fever and emerging diseases such as dengue, zika and chikungunya.
Call for research proposals – Fast track supplements for projects against COVID-19: Thematic Projects, Young Investigator Grants, RIDCs, ERCs.
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