Eight University College Dublin (UCD) projects are amongst 41 to receive new investment under the Covid-19 Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme led by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The UCD projects will receive €1.5 million of the total €5.5 million investment.

The UCD projects awarded funding include an international project examining blood coagulation in COVID-19 patients titled “Cocoon Study”, a study aiming to develop plastic film that will not allow coronavirus to survive for more than 60 minutes, and another researching the detection and quantification of antibodies.

In making the announcement, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said the 41 projects “are part of a national drive to find solutions to the challenges we face now, and to help us prepare to live in a changing environment that requires new thinking and innovative approaches.”

Responding to the announcement, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, said: “We are very proud of the response by the UCD academics and clinicians to the Covid-19 crisis, having come together to produce effective, innovative solutions to the many challenges posed by the pandemic”.

Outside of UCD, the other 33 projects include research on reducing skin damage from PPE, the decontamination and reuse of facemasks, the early detection of secondary waves and many other areas “which respond to the immediate and pressing needs of society arising from the pandemic”.

The COVID-19 Rapid Response, Research, Development and Innovation programme was launched as part of the Irish Government’s National Action Plan back in March, in conjunction with the SFI, Enterprise Ireland (EI), the Irish Development Agency (IDA), the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

You can find out more about the programme and the various projects on the SFI website www.sfi.ie.

Sadhbh O’Muirí – Reporter