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New investment in COVID-19 research and innovation projects

Details have been announced of a new €10.5 million investment in 39 COVID-19 research projects.

COVID-19 Rapid response research and innovation funding

Supported by the Health Research Board, these are part of a coordinated COVID-19 Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme, to tackle COVID-19 in collaboration with the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland.  

Some examples of topics being investigated include:

  • Assessing public trust and compliance with pandemic advice and policies
  • What leads to COVID-19 'superspreader' events in the workplace?
  • A disinfecting fog to prevent the spread of COVID-19 indoors
  • Inoculating against COVID-19 misinformation
  • Assessing and protecting the mental health of the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How can we support family carers during COVID-19?
  • Helping children adjust to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
  • Why are meat plants hotspots for COVID-19?

Welcoming the investment, Stephen Donnelly, TD, Minister for Health, said: 

“Research has been a key part of our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and we will continue to rely on research in the months ahead. This year, we have not just experienced a pandemic, we have also seen an infodemic. There has been an overload of often unreliable information. We have seen examples of this in relation to the use of vaccines and on unproven medicines. As we plan to introduce a COVID-19 vaccination programme, it is essential that we tackle things like misinformation. Many of these research projects will provide evidence to help us do that. I look forward to using the findings from this research for the benefit of Irish people, the health system and society.”

Also commenting on the awards, Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board said:

“COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the importance of research to improve treatment, develop solutions to health problems and inform decision making. Many of these research projects address the long-term health and societal aspects of COVID-19 that will not be tackled with a vaccine alone, such as mental health or understanding patient risk factors. These long-term societal solutions are crucial as we continue to live with the virus and start to open society again.”

The projects are led by higher education institutions and involve collaborations with a broad range of organisations including hospitals, Government agencies, representative bodies and industry.

Nine projects are part of a collaborative, all-Ireland research partnership supported by the Department for the Economy and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.

You can read summaries of the 14 research projects that the HRB is supporting with the Irish Research Council on our COVID-19 news page.