The head of the World Health Organization has recently said Europe is currently the epicentre of the global coronavirus pandemic urging countries to use aggressive measures to save lives including community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.
Italy is currently leading the pack in this regard having entered a lockdown phase after gradually imposing restricting measures. Indeed, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine last 9 March 2020 impeding the movement of the population with just a few exceptions, including work and health circumstances.
The EU Call For Entrepreneurs
To halt the spreading of the virus expected to peak in the coming weeks, the European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply urgently to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council.
#COVID19: In such a dystopian scenario, #startups and #SMEs alike can help make the quantum leap in tackling the worst disease in a generation.Tweet
With a budget of €164 million, the EU call is “bottom up”, meaning there are no predefined thematic priorities and applicants with Coronavirus relevant innovations will be evaluated in the same way as other applicants.
Easing Funding Access To Innovate
Nevertheless, the Commission will look to fast track the awarding of EIC grants and blended finance (combining grant and equity investment) to Coronavirus relevant innovations, as well as to facilitate access to other funding and investment sources.
The EIC is already supporting a number of startups and SMEs with Coronavirus relevant innovations, awarded funding in previous rounds. This includes the EpiShuttle project for specialised isolation units, the m-TAP project for filtration technology to remove viral material, and the MBENT project to track human mobility during epidemics.
Find out more here.