8 million euros for research projects in the fields of diagnostics, therapy and prevention of SARS-CoV-2

The state of Baden-Württemberg will support the medical faculties with up to 15 million euros in total for the research of COVID-19, thereby enabling networking between the sites and further expanding the specific strengths of medical faculties.

The Ministry of Science, Research and Arts is funding 51 projects in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Tübingen and Ulm with approximately 8 million euros through the "COVID-19 Research Special Funding Line".

Almost 2 million euros out the total funding of approximately 8 million euros, will be provided to Freiburg, 1.8 million euros to Heidelberg, 1.1 million euros to Mannheim, 1.5 million euros to Tübingen and 1.7 million euros to Ulm.

All approved projects have one thing in common: they develop personnel skills as well as equipment and methodological resources further across different locations and connect them with each other. Thematically, the projects cover a broad spectrum of relevant questions about COVID-19:

Diagnostics: In this area, questions will be answered, for example, about the development of faster methods for the detection of the virus, the serological detection of antibodies against the virus or the detection and evaluation of an innate and cellular immune response.

Therapy: Projects with a focus on therapy aim to investigate the replication of the virus and the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease caused by the virus or to investigate the identification of possible antiviral agents in cell culture. 

Prevention: Research ideas in the field of prevention include passive vaccination using neutralising antibodies as well as active vaccination using viral surface proteins and recombinantly produced virus-like particles.

The broad research spectrum is complemented by clinical and epidemiological studies on the course and treatment of COVID-19, including studies on the evolution of the virus within and between patients as well as studies on the genome and epigenome of individuals with different progression of the disease.

An overview of the funded projects can be found here.

The special funding line is based on an integrated research concept developed by the five medical faculties in Baden-Württemberg for the rapid support of research ideas on the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of COVID-19. A large number of scientists with project proposals that have already started or can be implemented in the near future participated in the state's call for funding. The 103 proposals received by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts following a pre-selection process by the medical faculties were evaluated by a review panel in June 2020. In addition to the usual scientific quality standards, the funding criteria for this start-up funding are the content of the projects in accordance with the research priorities of the respective locations and the networking across locations.

In the course of the corona pandemic, the Ministry has set up funding measures for COVID-19 research, for which a total of up to 15 million euros are available: 1.2 million euros were provided for the COVID-19 study on children, which has attracted a great deal of international attention; 8 million euros are now available for individual, but mainly cross-location research projects in Baden-Württemberg; in addition, a population study is planned.

An insight into the diverse science and research landscape in Baden-Württemberg in the context of COVID-19 is available at #CovidScienceBW.

Click here to read the press release in German language.


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