Funded projects will look at pandemic from epidemiological, pharmaceutical and social perspectives
Ireland’s ministers have announced €10.5 million in research and innovation spending on projects related to Covid-19, including collaboration with Northern Ireland.
The funding will be spread across 39 projects, and will cover topics such as the cause of super-spreader events in workplaces, the development of a disinfecting fog to prevent the spread of Covid-19 indoors and new approaches to tackling Covid-19 with antibodies.
One project funded under the effort will study why meat plants are hotspots for Covid-19 infection.
“As we move closer to commencing a vaccination programme, we need to understand that the virus has not gone away—supporting our expert researchers in our higher education institutions will help us to safely reopen our society,” said higher education and research minister Simon Harris.
“This latest research also includes nine all-island research projects, which is really exciting,” he said. “Covid-19 does not know any borders. Working together across this island will help us in our fight.”
The nine all-Ireland research projects, which will take place in cooperation with institutions in Northern Ireland, will examine subjects such as Covid-19 surveillance in wastewater, disruption to food supply chains and new therapeutic treatments for the virus.
Meanwhile, 14 of the new projects will be funded under a partnership between the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board. These will focus on the social effects of Covid-19, including how to shield populations from Covid-19 misinformation, helping children adjust to the challenges of the pandemic, and assessing and protecting the mental health of Ireland’s people.
Ireland has counted nearly 160,000 Covid-19 infections and just over 2,400 deaths since the start of the global coronavirus pandemic early last year.