On Thursday, President Sebastián Piñera launched a 2.3 billion peso (US$2.8 million) research fund for projects that contribute to the development of new tools and to studying the impact of the virus from all areas of knowledge.
“The contribution of science and the world of research, broadly defined, is fundamental. We need to study, research, and learn more about this virus, this challenge, this threat, because the better we know it, the better we can learn to live with it for what is an as yet unknown period of time,” said President Piñera. He was accompanied by the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Minister, Andrés Couve.
The competition, which was organized through Chile’s national research and development agency (Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo, ANID), will provide up to 90 million Chilean pesos (US$108,000) per project. Researchers must begin their work in May 2020 and will have 12 months to complete it.
Interested parties can apply through the ANID website between April 30 and May 22.
The initiatives can be new or ongoing and must focus on the diagnosis, control, prevention, treatment, or monitoring of the virus or other aspects related to the pandemic and its consequences, incorporating healthcare, social, economic, cultural, and humanistic research.
The lead researcher for each COVID-19 Fund project will be required to make their results available to the community free of charge, along with any databases generated in the context of their work. The data will have to be shared with no restrictions and their reuse will be permitted under existing open access practices.
“We have to be more alert than ever, with our eyes wide open, addressing the problems of today and preparing to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. That is part of the basis for this COVID-19 Research Fund,” the President said.
This initiative aligns with the work that is being done by renowned international research agencies, such as those of France, Germany, Canada, and the United States, which have announced funding to help us to understand and address this pandemic and future emergencies.