Implementation programme of NRP 78 launched

The implementation programme of NRP 78 has just been launched, supporting seven projects in the implementation of their research results.

NRP 78 "Covid-19" operates in an extremely dynamic field of research, and the enormous need for scientific knowledge to better cope with the current and future pandemics puts great pressure on the researchers to achieve useful results as quickly as possible. Since NRP 78 aims not only to deliver research results, but also to enable their immediate use in practice, researchers are now additionally supported by an implementation programme developed specifically for NRP 78.

Seven research groups have been awarded a grant to conduct an implementation project that will develop the results of their research projects, put them directly into practice or make them ready for future market applications. The programme, which has just been launched, supports various projects at different levels.

  • The promotion of cross-cutting research collaborations between NRP 78 projects and the SNSF special call on coronaviruses is central to the implementation project in which several research groups are investigating genetic polymorphisms and the role of SLC6 amino acid transporters. Their aim is to accelerate the development of antiviral agents and diagnostic tools.
  • Implementation funding is also expected to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of a technology (diagnostics, treatment, etc.). For example, an NRP 78 research group aims to use a high-throughput nano-immunoassay to develop a series of synthetic nanobodies (sybodies) that target SARS-CoV-2 and are expected to yield new therapeutic options.
  • Another research team is developing an online tool for immunological risk prediction of post-acute Covid 19 syndrome (PACS) or Long Covid. Clinical implementation of the tool will facilitate personalised treatment, prevention and vaccination strategies in at-risk groups.
  • As part of the implementation programme, one project will prepare the implementation of a clinical trial with the aim of developing a live biological vaccine against SARS CoV-2 and patenting the relevant technology.
  • Another project, based on the expertise gained in the area of airborne SARS-CoV-2 in nursing homes, is developing a remote optical sensor to warn of airborne viruses in rooms.
  • Dialogue and exchange with stakeholders is being promoted in a tourism project that is planning a major networking event in the autumn. Participants will discuss intervention strategies aimed at influencing the travel behaviour of tourists and increasing the acceptance of protection measures.
  • Using the 'Experienced Based Co-Design' method published by Donetto et al. 2015 and Robert 2013, a project from the French-speaking part of Switzerland aims to develop Covid-19 recommendations together with stakeholder groups (healthcare professionals, other essential workers, young people) in the canton of Vaud in order to increase relevance, effectiveness and acceptability for specific population groups. In addition, these recommendations are intended to serve as guidance for healthcare decision-makers with a view to better crisis management.

The implementation projects supported by NRP 78 run parallel to the research projects and will be completed at the same time as the main programme. Detailed information about the individual projects can be found on the NRP 78 website.

Links to the seven Implementation projects