The world is currently in the grip of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For many companies, this means work has come to a standstill: Restaurants are closed, employees are urgently advised to work from home whenever possible, and even the Dutch florists will not visit Vatican City this year to help prepare for the Easter celebration. In addition to the obvious health and welfare concerns, the coronavirus also has major economic consequences.
Finding solutions is a necessity. Hospitals and other research institutions are working overtime in search of a vaccine and therapeutic interventions that might ease the outbreak. The development of online medical applications to assist people at home, communication tools, as well as solutions to combat the shortage of face masks, respirators, and disinfectants, is also in full swing.
As I cycle to the office on Tuesday morning, the streets are strangely empty. Most people are working from home, and the hordes of schoolchildren who normally zoom along the cycle paths are absent. The office itself is unusually quiet, but appearances can be deceiving: At home, each of us sits typing furiously behind his or her computer screen and work continues as usual. Once in a while we take a digital coffee break, catching up with colleagues who are also hard at work from home.
Grant Schemes and COVID-19
In the recent period, several grant schemes have been made available in direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as Horizon 2020: SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020: Advancing Knowledge for the Clinical and Public Health Response to the 2019-nCoV Epidemic (closed 12 February) and the European Commission’s EIC Accelerator instrument (closed 18 March). Evers + Manders is also contributing to this. We are working hard to submit grant proposals that contribute to the mitigation of the coronavirus as soon as possible.
In the world of grant applications, urgency is an old adversary: Applications often have to be submitted quickly, and deadlines are an omnipresent pressure. However, for me, the application I had the opportunity to contribute to this week acquired extra meaning: urgent, not only because of the tight deadline, but also because the world is so desperately in need of a solution to this crisis. A moment when the direct link between medical and industrial research, grant applications, social responsibility and relevance, innovation and wellbeing, is clearly visible. Science, industry, funds and funding providers – they all contribute to finding a solution to the current pandemic, or towards mitigating its effects.
If you are conducting research into the coronavirus or have an innovation that can contribute to its mitigation, we are keen to assist you in finding the appropriate grant instrument and submitting your application.