Swiss foundation launches ‘emergency call’ for coronavirus research

The ten laboratories that can test for the coronavirus in Switzerland can together perform 1,000 tests per day. Keystone / Alex Plavevski

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) announced on Wednesday that it is allocating several million Swiss francs to research on coronaviruses.

This content was published on February 27, 2020 - 11:06

Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council of SNSF, said that the private foundation will launch an emergency call for proposals on research into coronaviruses on March 6, 2020 with a submission deadline at the end of March.

The letter published on Twitter states that “research proposals should have the potential to contribute to the understanding of the virus or to improve the clinical or public health response within a timeframe of two years.”

This is the first time that the SNSF has launched a call for proposals in response to an emergency and based on what it learns in this experience it plans to develop criteria to define when and how to react to future emergencies.

The SNSF was founded on August 1, 1952 with a mandate by the federal government. It aims to provide financial support for research projects in all academic disciplines and promote young scientists. With its mandate from the federal government to fund research and promote young scientists in Switzerland, the foundation supports approximately 8,500 researchers every year.

On Thursday, the Swiss authorities confirmed three new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total to four across the country. Ten laboratories in Switzerland can currently carry out coronavirus tests.

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