End of programme, with submission of report to the Federal Council

© Daniel Schludi / Unsplash / Flaschen mit Covid-19-Impfstoff

Following presentation of the Synthesis Report for National Research Programme "Covid-19" (NRP 78) to the public in November 2023, the programme was concluded in March 2024 with the submission of a report to the Federal Council.

The 28 projects of the National Research Programme “Covid-19” (NRP 78) not only led to a large number of scientific publications, they also made significant contributions to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and did valuable groundwork for possible future pandemics.

Some 200 researchers carried out research and implementation projects for which a budget of 20 million Swiss francs had been made available. The basic research projects furthered our understanding of the mechanism of action of SARS-CoV-2 and, in particular, investigated the immune response triggered by the virus. Other projects looked into new epidemiologic and preventive approaches by investigating routes of transmission and effective prevention measures. Other projects contributed to the development of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines, and the researchers conducted several clinical trials to investigate the efficacy of various therapeutic interventions for treating Covid-19 disease.

The NRP 78 Synthesis Report was presented to the public at a concluding media conference held at the Federal Palace Media Centre in Bern in November 2023. Along with the results of the research work, the event was also an opportunity to present more general conclusions about the specific framework conditions for scientific research in crisis situations and about the dynamics of the pandemic, which had demanded rapid adaptability on the part of scientific bodies. One of the key recommendations of the programme synthesis was that cooperation between research and the authorities should be intensified and institutionalised so that it functions smoothly in crisis situations.

In February and March 2024, the Presiding Board of the Research Council deliberated on the final report on NRP 78. The report was then submitted to the Federal Council at the end of March 2024 together with the Board's additional recommendations.