COVID CALL 2020
About this good practice
In a time of global health emergency connected to the Covid-19, in March 2020, the Lombardy Region intended to contribute to the implementation of innovative solutions proposed by intersectoral and multidisciplinary partnerships, including public and private sector actors from the innovation system, to accelerate the development of innovative and performing therapies and early diagnoses useful for dealing with current and future epidemic.
Lombardy Region financed 20 projects, whose activities ended on 30/10/2020.
The projects have achieved the set objectives, almost half of the projects have made working prototypes of the innovative solutions proposed; 5 projects have Italian and international patent filing; one project has expanded the antibody-based data; some projects have discovered new pharmacological properties that will pave the way for possible innovative industrial developments to face future epidemics.
Lombardy Region obtained additional financial support through a manifestation of interest by public and private subjects of the innovation ecosystem for the regional call to “support for development of collaborations for the identification of therapies and diagnostic systems and analyzes to counter the coronavirus emergency and other viral emergencies ".
• line 1: Public and private non-profit research organizations in partnerships
• line 2: enterprises and research organisations (public and private) set up in partnerships.
The financial resources available were:
· for LINE 1 € 3,500,000.00 financed by the Cariplo Foundation and by Umberto Veronesi Foundation in response to regional notice;
· for LINE 2 €4,000,000.00 from 2020 resources of the ERDF 2014-2020.
19 people worked on call
Evidence of success
The projects developed prototypes of more precise and rapid tests and swabs or prototypes of portable devices to detect the Covid-19 virus on any surface; studied the effectiveness of new drugs and lay the foundations for identifying new therapies; increased the capacity for diagnosis and prevention through artificial intelligence; activated innovative home care pathways for fragile patients affected by Covid, patented new solutions and published the results in specialized scientific journals.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Covid call was a rapid and effective response put in place by the Lombardy Region to finance industrial research projects, industrial development for the identification of therapies and diagnostic, protection and analysis systems to counter the Coronavirus emergency and other viral emergencies of the future. The measure was aimed at business partnerships (large, medium and small businesses) in collaboration with research institutions.
Research bodies and partner foundation were involved, such as the Cariplo Foundation and the Umberto Veronesi Foundation.
The relevant factors that make the covid call a good practice are:
rapid opening and preliminary investigation of call, involvement of private stakeholders to increase the financial resources, systematisation of research projects active in the area to find diagnostic, IT tools and devices useful for combating the health emergency and increasing knowledge of viruses sars-cov.