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Corona - Funding for R&D

A guide to funding possibilities for biotech and medtech companies in times of Corona crisis.

The Corona outbreak is a healthcare, societal and economic crisis with two faces for medtech and biotech: we are expected to come with solutions at unprecedented rates while ongoing developments are hit hard. Many companies are hence forced to revise their R&D and funding strategies while facing future uncertainties. This article provides an overview of different support measures taken, enabling you to adapt quickly. The opportunities are organised along the following categories (you find these in the tabs at the top of this page):

This article will be updated regularly – so make sure to check in once in a while or subscribe to our newsletter.

Do you wish to talk to one of our consultants for more information? Please contact us!

This page will give you an overview of acute opportunities for companies working on Corona solutions.

European Union

It is expected that proposals funded under this call will contribute to a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 specifically and of the Coronavirus family of viruses in general. The scope of this call is broad, due to the novelty and the current public emergency status of the CORVID-19 disease, and must address at least one of the following objectives:

  1. Development of antivirals as well as other types of therapeutics to address a rapid response to the current COVID-19 outbreak
  2. Development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronavirus outbreaks
  3. Development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies
  4. Development of fast and reliable tools that go beyond the state of the art for detection of COVID-19 carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection

    Deadline call: 31-3-2020
    Max. funding amount: €45.000.000

Epidemics of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), which is defined as diseases whose incidence in humans has increased in the past two decades or threatens to increase in the near future, are a global threat to the wellbeing and safety of individuals and public life in general. 

CEPI funding facilitates the development of vaccines against those EIDs for which the usual commercial incentives for development are inadequate. A strategic objective of CEPI is to advance the development of technology platforms that enable a rapid response to protect at-risk populations against EIDs. There are three main approaches to developing immunoprophylactic technologies to be used in cases of outbreaks or epidemics:

  1. Developing technologies that target individual known pathogens, e.g., using recombinant viral vectors. Two of CEPI’s Calls for Proposals (CfP1 and CfP3) addressed this approach
  2. Developing multi-purpose platform technologies that are versatile enough to be used against multiple pathogens and that can be characterized so that platforms can be best matched to new or emerging pathogens in hopes of generating a more rapid response
  3. Identifying a “prototype pathogen” that represents a family of viruses in the hope that knowledge gained about this prototype will enable a more directed and rapid response in the case of outbreaks or epidemics caused by similar pathogens

    Deadline: 14-10-2020
    Maximum funding amount: €50.000.000
  • InnovFin - Infectious diseases
    InnovFin Infectious Diseases is a joint initiative by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission under Horizon 2020, providing funding for the development of vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices, and research infrastructures for combatting infectious diseases. The funding is aimed at projects that have passed the pre-clinical stage and for which clinical validation is needed for further development.

    Deadline: This initiative is continuously open for application.
    Maximum funding amount: €75.000.000



  • BSAC COVID-19 Funding Call:  A COVID-19 funding call to support researchers in microbiology in better understanding and addressing COVID-19 outbreak.

    Eligibility: Very broad, including early career researchers and clinical trainees. Note that applications are not normally encouraged from principal investigators and co-workers in receipt of grants in excess of £100K (or local equivalent) in the past two years. See for details.

    Deadline: 17-4-2020


  • ArcLife - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Therapeutics: Call for Rapid Deployment: LifeArc is a UK-registered and self-funded charity that aims to drive medical innovation through their own research as well as through their work with a range of partners from industry, charities, universities, research organizations and others involved in improving lives for patients.

    Through this funding scheme, LifeArc is supporting the testing of therapeutics and their rapid deployment to treat patients. The development of novel molecules is not thought to be realistic in the timeframe needed to have an impact upon this pandemic, so the focus for this call is on repurposing already available drugs (including biologics) or those in late stages of development.

    The main objective is to accelerate the availability of treatments for patients and it is therefore expected that applicants will already have material available for testing and a plan for rapid scale-up of clinical material. Priority will be given to projects that have a clear path and availability for patients in a 6-12 month timeframe. It is expected that any data obtained will be shared openly and, where knowledge obtained could benefit the development of other COVID-19 therapeutics, this will take place as soon as possible.

    Deadline: 6-4-2020
    Maximum funding amount: €5.500.000

Wellcome Trust

  • Epidemic Preparedness: COVID-19 funding call (closed):
    This call aims to strengthen the evidence base to better prevent and control coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemics and to increase research and response capacity.
    >> Due to the high level of interest, this scheme is currently closed to new expressions of interest while they review the proposals they have received.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  •  COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator:
    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is joining forces with Wellcome and Mastercard. They have announced (the 10th of March) to invest $125 million to tackle this epidemic. The money will be used to identify potential treatments for COVID-19, accelerate their development, and prepare for the manufacture of millions of doses for use worldwide. The expertise of pharmaceutical companies will be critical to this endeavor, named the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. 

    Deadline: 31-12-2020

European vaccine infrastructure TRANSVAC2

  • In order to support the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19), the European vaccine infrastructure TRANSVAC2, coordinated by EVI, is encouraging researchers working on COVID19 to apply for the high-quality technical vaccine development services offered by our infrastructure.

    With a few exceptions, services are free-of-charge. Some of the services COVID19 researchers may benefit from are: Animal models, Adjuvant formulation , Clinical trial support and Regulatory support.

    Deadline: 15-4-2020


Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs

  • Invest-NL has prioritized climate-related investments in the recent past; they are talking about ways to go off the beaten track.

Dutch Ministry of Healthcare

We are aware of the Ministry committing funds to specific urgently needed corona-related healthcare solutions

  • ZonMw is expected to launch corona-directed efforts shortly
  • RVO: SET COVID-19 (NL only)
    The care of vulnerable elderly people living at home or people with a chronic illness or disability is under pressure due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) and the measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Healthcare organizations therefore quickly need more technological options to provide remote care.

    Deadline: For this funding scheme, there is a continuous application process. Subsidies can be provided as long as budget funds have not been depleted. Applications can be submitted from March 25, 2020, via 

Dutch Ministry of Science

  • NWO: we are not aware of specific initiatives


This page will give you an overview of opportunities for non-corona related R&D.


The European Innovation Council's (EIC) 2018-2020 Work Programme includes the FET Open calls. This supports interdisciplinary collaborations to tap into Europe's excellent science base for exploring radically new technologies that may become the game-changers of the future.

Who can apply? Consortia exploring novel ideas for radically new future technologies. Open to research into any area of technology.

What to apply for? The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Deadline: May 13

>> More information


Projects applying for FTI funding should undertake an innovation from the demonstration stage through to market update. This includes activities such as piloting, test-beds, system validation and more. Relatively mature, ground-breaking new technologies, concepts, processes and business models are targeted, that need just the final development to be able to shape a new market and achieve wider deployment.

Who can apply? Consortia consisting of three to five entities, from at least three different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries. Participation by industry (private-for-profit organisations) is mandatory in this scheme. Industry is best-placed to ensure the due commercial exploitation of the innovation developed. Interdisciplinary approaches are highly encouraged.

What to apply for? Per project, the maximum contribution is €3 million, at a funding rate of 70% for private-for-profit entities and 100% for public not-for-profit entities. Duration of the project should not exceed three years. The total budget for 2018 is €100 million, which is divided equally over the three cut-off dates.

Deadline: June 9

>> More information


H2020 - INFRAIA-03-2020: Pilot for a new model of Integrating Activities: The main objective of this topic is the provision of access to research infrastructures and the harmonization of national and European procedures for providing access. 

Who can apply? For this call, applicant consortia must consist of at least three independent legal entities, and each must be established in a different EU Member State or Horizon 2020 associated country. All three legal entities must be legally independent of each other.

What to apply for? The total budget available for this call is €45.000.000. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to €15.000.000 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Deadline: May 14

>> More information

H2020-INFRAIA-02-2020: Integrating Activities for Starting Communities: Funding will be provided to support, in particular, the trans-national and virtual access provided to European researchers (and to researchers from Third Countries under certain conditions), the cooperation between research infrastructures, scientific communities, industries and other stakeholders, the improvement of the services the infrastructures provide, the harmonization, optimization and improvement of access procedures and interfaces.

Who can apply? For this call, applicant consortia shall consist of at least three independent legal entities, and each must be established in a different EU Member State or Horizon 2020 associated country. All three legal entities must be legally independent of each other.

What to apply for? The total budget available for this call is €115.400.000. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to €5.000.000 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts or duration.

Deadline: May 14

>> Meer informatie


The European Research Council (ERC) funding initiative "Proof of Concept" (PoC) is open to researchers who have already been awarded an ERC grant (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy). 

Who can apply? The ERC PoC funding is made available only to those who already have an ERC award (either ongoing or has ended less than 12 months before the opening date of this call)  to establish proof of concept of an idea that was generated in the course of their ERC-funded projects.

What to apply for? The maximum duration of the ERC PoC Grants is up to 18 months and a maximum of €150.000 may be awarded (100% funding). The total budget for the 2020 round is €25 million, intended for 167 grants.

Deadline: April 23

>> More information


The purpose of the pilot "Infrastructurele initiatieven" by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) is to give an impulse to existing or new infrastructural initiatives that support oncological research and to ensure that research findings lead to concrete applications for patients and the general public more often, and more quickly. 

Who can apply? Any Dutch non-profit organization can act as the leading institute, and the initiative should have national support. The project leader is not required to hold a PhD. 

What to apply for? There is no pre-specified maximum budget per project. High amounts can be applied for if fully justified. Projects are to last between 1 and 5 years. Costs for site visits can be included.

Deadline: For this call, there is a two-stage application process. The deadline for submitting a pre-proposal is June 3, 2020. Full proposals, on invitation only, are due August 26, 2020, at 12:00 CEST.

>> More information

ERC Advanced

ERC Advanced Grants (AdG) are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators which have already established themselves as research leaders with a recognized track record of research achievements. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal; in other words, a proposal should not be incremental with respect to your current scientific track-record and the current state of the art, while (maybe in some way contradicting) you should make clear that you have all the skills to perform the proposed research.

Who can apply? Researchers (conducted in a public or private research organization) of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any ERC Member State or Associated Country are eligible to apply. 

What to apply for? A subsidy of €2.500.000 for 5 years, plus an optional, additional €1.000.000 for infrastructural investments or for relocation to the EU.

Deadline: August 26

>> More Information

Browse our Funding Database for an overview of non-Corona related calls.

This page will give you an overview of national initiatives to support biotech and medtech companies in acute need.

National initiatives to support companies in acute need

If there is anything you would like to add, feel free to get in touch with us via

This page will be regularly updated with the latest corona news and resources for biomedical innovators.

March 26

Cancer drug trials on hold amid coronavirus disruption

Studies on dozens of other diseases grind to a halt as fears of health-care shortages and risk of exposure put the brakes on clinical research.

>> Read more

'COVID-19 impact report on Dutch startup system'

To identify the impact of COVID-19 on young companies, Techleap conducted a survey amongst 445 Dutch startups and venture capital investors. The respondents shared their details on their current situation, struggles and their taken precautions. We wrapped up the key findings:

  • 50% of startups have lost significant revenue and are expected to run out of money in the coming 3 months. Most founders indicate the need for short term (1-3 months) bridge funding with the amount needed most ranging from €100,000 to €400,000. 
  • The mostly impacted business areas of startups are: 1) delay in customer sign ups (30%), 2) difficulty in raising money (27%) and 3) the loss of existing customers or business (27%).
  • 65% of VC indicated they feel leess confidence in the market and are delaying investments. 
  • There’s a need for new measures that incentivise new capital to be invested. 

>>  Read more

March 25

France announces $4.3B plan to support startups

France’s Ministry of State for Digital Affairs Cédric O and public investment bank Bpifrance announced a comprehensive support plan for startups. Some French startups are going to face revenue issues as well as funding issues in the coming months.The French government wants to temporarily bridge that gap with refinancing and liquidity measures — overall it represents $4.3 billion (€4 billion).

>> Read more

March 24

'ResearchGate Combating COVID-19'

ResearchGate has set up additional activities on their platform for researchers to work together on fighting the corona-virus: free job posts for researchers and support staff that actively work to combat the pandemic, free access to their Expert Finder tool, help with their survey tools and they’re developing a COVID-19 community page. 

>> Read more

March 23

WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments

Scientists have suggested dozens of existing compounds for testing but WHO is focusing on what it says are the four most promising therapies: an experimental antiviral compound called remdesivir; the malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; a combination of two HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir; and that same combination plus interferon-beta, an immune system messenger that can help cripple viruses.

>> Read more

March 21

'Postponement of pension contributions possible due to corona crisis'

Entrepreneurs who are faced with acute problems due to the corona crisis can be deferred to pay pension contributions. (In Dutch)

>> Read more


March 17

NWO drafts guideline for postponing primary process

NWO has drafted a guideline to provide applicants with clarity. It makes a distinction between ongoing and upcoming rounds. There are some exceptions for complex instruments.

>> Read more