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Live Innovation Funding Calls focused on tackling COVID-19

Calls are ordered by closing date. The soonest call to close is listed first.

IMI2 – Call 21 (Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections)

Closing Date: 31st March

Funding type: Grant

Scheme Value: £45m

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies welcomed


Considering that this is a newly-identified virus, the scope of this topic remains broad and must address at least one of the following objectives:

  • development of antivirals as well as other types of therapeutics to address a rapid response to the current COVID-19 outbreak;
  • development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronavirus outbreaks;
  • development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies;
  • development of fast and reliable tools that go beyond the state of the art for detection of COVID-19 carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection.

Preventive vaccines are specifically excluded from the scope of the Call.

Website: https://www.imi.europa.eu/apply-funding/open-calls/imi2-call-21

COVID-19 Accelerating Therapeutics

Closing Date: 31st March

Funding type: Grant

Scheme Value: $125m

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies welcomed


The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will coordinate research efforts and remove barriers to drug development.

Currently there are no approved treatments for COVID-19. This new initiative aims to fill that gap by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. The partners are committed to equal access, ensuring treatments are accessible and affordable in low-resource settings.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will work closely with the World Health Organization, government and private sector funders, and global regulatory and policy-setting institutions. It will have an end-to-end focus – from drug pipeline development through to manufacturing and scale-up – and will provide fast and flexible funding at key stages of the process.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will not be conducting a traditional funding call. To learn more about the funding process, or how to invest in the accelerator, contact epidemics@wellcome.ac.uk.

Website: https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/wellcome-pledges-50-million-new-initiative-speed-development-covid-19-treatments

COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances

Closing Date: 1st April

Applicant informed: ASAP

Funding type: SBRI

Scheme Value: N/A

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies welcomed


Ambulances must be thoroughly cleaned once a patient with suspected COVID-19 has been transported. These cleaning times can take up to 45 minutes and have to be undertaken at cleaning centres which can be some distance away. This puts a strain on an already busy and pressurised service as the vehicles cannot be used until cleaning is completed.

We are looking to identify, develop and demonstrate rapid sanitising technologies. All projects will be required to undergo practical assessment at Dstl Porton Down and a live demonstration on an ambulance, provided by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Innovations must be suitable for rapid deployment to clean public sector vehicles following the transport of patients with the COVID-19 virus. Ideally systems will have wider applicability than just ambulances, which might include buses, trains, and other blue light services or even in hospital wards / rooms.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-call-for-rapid-sanitising-technology-for-ambulances

Rapid Research in COVID-19 Programme (RARC-19 Programme)

Closing Date: 8th April

Applicant informed: ASAP

Funding type: Grant

Scheme Value: up to £1.25m per project

Application Restrictions: Academic only


CSO wishes to capture the extraordinarily strong research base in Scottish Universities. Many academics are already thinking about how their research can be used for benefit in this national and international emergency. CSO has therefore decided to ask Scottish Universities to apply for funding for a portfolio of Covid-19 research drawn from the best ideas from research investigators in their institutions. In particular, we are looking for projects that address the following key priority areas:

  • improved characterisation and treatment of infection and sequelae, including novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches
  • development of new surveillance approaches that can be implemented rapidly
  • novel interventions to help prevent infection, particularly for those providing care
  • to support the resilience and mental health of front line health and care staff including those who returned to the NHS or came early from nursing or medical schools into the workforce
  • understanding the longer-term health impacts of social distancing and other behavioural interventions introduced to prevent the spread of infection in the population

Website: https://www.lifearc.org/funding/covid-19/

LifeArc Research Fund COVID 19 (Therapeutics)

Closing Date: 6th April

Applicant informed: 27th April

Funding type: Grant

Scheme Value: £10m

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies welcomed


LifeArc has made available an initial £10m for the identification of therapeutics that can
be rapidly deployed to treat COVID-19. The aim is to run trials in patients during the current
epidemic It is anticipated that applications will be for funding to re-purpose one or more drugs that
are generic, already licensed, or are in late stage development for another indication.

Grants will be awarded rapidly under standard, non negotiable terms. LifeArc will not seek any
financial return on these grants It will not take any equity stakes or other revenue return It is
expected that those receiving funding will respect the spirit of the award and where relevant
prioritise COVID-19 patients’ access over any potential for profit.

Website: https://www.lifearc.org/funding/covid-19/

Space in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Closing Date: 20 April 2020

Funding type: Grant/SBRI

Scheme Value: N/A

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies welcomed


On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of recorded cases was more than 118,000 in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.  Moreover, the alarming levels of spread and severity has led WHO to characterise the COVID-19 as a pandemic outbreak.

ESA will launch on 31st March 2020 an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) inviting companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating services to respond to the emergency that Europe, and especially Italy, is facing because of the spreading of the coronavirus. The AO is issued in cooperation with the Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization (MID).

ESA and the Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization (MID) signed at the end of 2019 a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate with the objective of pursuing space based activities delivering innovation and digitalization for citizens and communities. Since the outbreak of the virus and its tremendous impact on the life of citizens, ESA and MID have decided to focus its joint actions for supporting citizens in the current emergency.

Companies responding to the AO are invited to propose Demonstration Projects dedicated to the deployment and demonstration of pre-operational services, addressing the topics of Healthcare or Education.

The main objectives of this AO are:

  • Help the Italian citizens and professionals of the health and educational sector to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Support the development and the adoption of services in health and in education to sustain the Italian community in reacting to the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Demonstrate the benefit provided by the utilization of  space-assets integrated with other novel technologies in these extraordinary circumstances;
  • Offer the opportunity to economic operators to deploy and demonstrate application solutions based on space for the benefit of citizens, local authorities and enterprises.

The proposed services shall be deployed in Italy, and can additionally be demonstrated in other geographies and countries, to the benefit of user communities which are facing similar exceptional challenges.

Website: https://business.esa.int/funding/invitation-to-tender/space-response-to-covid-19-outbreak

CoronaHack – AI vs. Covid-19 (Data & AI)

Closing Date: Sign-up now!

Funding type: Hackathon

Scheme Value: N/A

Application Restrictions: Applications from companies, alongside biomedical and data scientists


Please join us for this high profile hackathon designed to accelerate approaches to monitoring, diagnosing and controlling the CoronaVirus.

Scheduled Dates: Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 9:00 AM – Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 8:00 PM BST

This event will shortly go virtual through a platform with full access to covid-19 datasets and other technology.

You will work collaboratively with top data scientists, biomedical researchers, vaccine specialists, startup founders and investors to developing innovative approaches to the current crisis.

Full joining details will be provided once the platform has been established.

This is a preliminary notification due to the short deadlines. Please sign up now, through Eventbrite so that we can communicate effectively.

More details will be posted shortly.

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coronahack-ai-vs-covid-19-tickets-99337559314?ref=enivtefor001&invite=MTk0MTMyMDAvZW1tYS5mYWRsb25Aa3RuLXVrLm9yZy8w%0A&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inviteformalv2&utm_term=eventpage&dm_t=0,0,0,0,0&dm_i=2VFU,10QJI,1KEUPF,3VMQI,1

Techforce19: Supporting the elderly, vulnerable, and self-isolating

Closing Date: Apply now!

Funding type: Grant

Scheme Value: Up to £25k per project

Application Restrictions:  Applications from companies welcomed


We believe new technologies can help support the vulnerable, elderly and self-isolating as COVID-19 continues to spread. Within this challenge, we are particularly looking for innovators able to support in the following areas. If this is your company, apply.

Please note: this competition is aimed at helping in the community, and we are not looking for solutions that are trying to solve clinical problems or require integration with NHS systems.

The call has three focus areas:

  1. Remote Social Care
  2. Optimising Staffing in Care and Volunteering Sectors
  3. Mental Health

Website: https://techforce19.uk/

COVID Accelerator

Closing Date: Always Open

Funding type: Accelerator / Collaboration

Scheme Value: N/A

Application Restrictions:  Everyone is welcome


What can you build in 2 weeks that scales and saves lives?

COVID Accelerator brings together people and ideas with resources to move forward. We’ve got to work together to get ahead of this fast-moving virus.

Join doctors on the frontlines, engineers, and designers, all working toward a common goal. No technical background? Not a problem. Everyone’s got something to add.

Website: https://covidaccelerator.com/

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