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Other Activities from Science Europe Members

Aside from launching research calls, Science Europe's Member Organisations are also involved in several other activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examples of these include running research projects directly, openly sharing research data and facilities, and providing information to the public. An overview of such initiatives is below.

This page was most recently updated on 29 May 2020.

 

The overview below is categorised according to a number of different activity types:

Research Projects and CollaborationInformation PortalsData and Publication Sharing InitiativesOther Initiatives

Research Projects and Collaborations

  • School and Digital Media
    Leibniz Association: Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI)
    Several research projects in the department "Media Transformations" use qualitative methods to investigate the development, use and appropriation of digital educational media in schools (DATAFIED, LernDiWa, Leibniz WissenschaftsCampus – Postdigital Participation, MPL, Discourse of EdTech, FaBuLoUS). These projects have been expanded since March 2020 to accompany the use of digital media during school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support schools and families in home schooling. New projects are in preparation to focus more on the role of the family in schooling and to develop evaluation tools for digital educational media. The researchers' competences relate to methodological (e.g. virtual ethnography), theoretical (e.g. media theory, data validation), empirical (e.g. inequality, practices, communication, cooperation, solidarity, security, public discourse) and practical dimensions of digital education.
  • Linguistic comprehensibility in official crisis communication (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Institute for the German Language (IDS)
    Linguistic comprehensibility has recently become an increasingly important issue in public communication. State and Federal Standards Control Councils are concerned with the comprehensibility of laws and regulations, and official communication is examined and improved with regard to basic elements of linguistic comprehensibility. The establishment of easy language and simple language has become a high priority for many public institutions. The IDS is currently focussing in on this area and has been carrying out various projects with government partners since 2019. The current Corona crisis has shown that measures to ensure comprehensibility in health authorities and ministries do not yet play a prominent role. The IDS is striving to transfer established methods of ensuring the comprehensibility of official communication to the health sector.
  • Corona survey within the National Education Panel (NEPS)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi)
    A corona survey is planned as part of the National Education Panel (NEPS). The aim of the NEPS is to collect longitudinal data on competence development, educational processes, educational decisions and returns to education in formal, non-formal and informal contexts over the entire life span. Since 2009, a total of more than 60,000 persons have been included in the survey in six representative subsamples. In May 2020, all adults will be invited to take part in a short online survey on the Corona crisis. Questions are planned on the topics of everyday life, health, concerns/anxietys/prospects, childcare/school routine and work situation. This data will be added to the survey and competence test data already collected in previous years and will allow for more in-depth background information that can be helpful in understanding how to deal with the current situation.
  • corona-monitor.de (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID)
    The aim of this project is to gain a repeated insight into the perceptions of the population - the "psychological situation". This should make it easier to orient communication measures and reporting in such a way as to offer the population correct, helpful knowledge and prevent misinformation and actionism. For example, an attempt will be made to classify behaviour that is strongly discussed in the media, such as discrimination against people who apparently come from countries that are strongly affected, such as China or Italy, or so-called panic buying. The project aims to find out how often such behaviour actually occurs and which factors can possibly explain this behaviour.
  • Economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
    Leibniz Association: German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)
    The DIW examines the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on various areas of the economy and society. In order to generate a well-founded database for the analysis of the socio-economic and political determinants of the spread of sars-cov-2 and the short-, medium- and long-term consequences, for example on health and the economic environment, the DIW is working on the development of a new strategy for the protection of the environment. In order to be able to estimate the situation of households and individuals, the SOEP is conducting a representative special survey (financed by the Federal Ministry of Research & Education). Several publications (including "DIW aktuell") have appeared on the topic of corona, for example on system-relevant occupations, the effects of school closures, the housing market, and economic policy perspectives. Others are planned, e.g. on taxes, pensions, the situation of the self-employed and expectations of the financial markets. In addition, the Joint Economic Forecast attempts to predict the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Germany by comparing it with previous economic crises.
  • Economic and growth effects of the Corona pandemic
    Leibniz Association: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)
    Quarterly economic forecasts (Kiel Economic Outlook) for the global economy, the Eurozone and the German economy. In addition, regular analyses of production potential and in-depth reports on economic, monetary and financial policy, also with regard to policy co-ordination at EU level.
  • Datamonitoring Corona Crisis (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)
    The IfW Kiel's Corona Data Monitor shows continuously updated indicators that allow conclusions to be drawn about economic activity in Germany and Europe and the spread of the pandemic. It thus provides indications of how the behaviour of companies and people is changing in the face of the drastic conditions imposed by governments and possible easing of regulations.
  • Establishment of an interdisciplinary debate platform (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Financial Research (SAFE)
    The aim of the interdisciplinary blog is to bring representatives of different scientific disciplines into conversation with each other on the Corona crisis. Current challenges like these require the involvement of many experts and academic disciplines. This platform brings together different perspectives and allows for exchanges on the topic, so that they are able to learn and, if necessary, argue with each other. The debate across disciplines will hopefully allow an informed and comprehensive view of this current socio-political topic and thus make an important contribution to the public discourse on the part of academia.
  • Collection of current literature
    Leibniz Association: German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW)
    Website with the latest publications from the field of economics on COVID-19.
  • Website analysis of the response of companies to the Corona pandemic in Germany
    Leibniz Association: Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)
    Analysis of the websites of about 1.3 million companies in Germany to what extent "Corona" or synonyms are mentioned. The analysis is carried out twice a week. Since 19.03.2020 we have observed an increase in the number of companies by about two percentage points per week (from 10% to 12% on 27.03.2020). We find significant sectoral and age- and size-related differences. Older and larger companies report the pandemic much more frequently. The influence of larger digital capacities is being investigated. At the district level, we observe both unequal distribution and unequal growth. There is a clear west-east divide and also a stronger growth in the south-west as well as more frequent naming in cities. Text analyses of the content show that the "Corona" references found can be divided into different subject areas, the relevance of which varies with company characteristics.
  • Special survey COVID-19-IAB/ZEW Foundation Panel
    Leibniz Association: Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)
    Two surveys of about 5,000 young companies (maximum 7 years old) on their situation during and after the lock-down. Samples are taken from the IAB/ZEW Foundation Panel and are representative for Germany. The focus is on the effects of the crisis and the adaptation strategies of young companies from the research-intensive and knowledge-based sectors. Topics: Effects and measures in production or service provision, in business processes, in innovation activities, investment plans, financing possibilities and turnover. Use of support services.
  • Optimized models to study human immune responses in mice
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI)
    The research group 'Immunology of Aging' at the Leibniz Institute on Ageing is concerned with changes in the immune system in old age and the mechanisms underlying these changes. For this purpose they use humanised mouse models, which they develop, validate and use in the group. These experiments are important in that they investigate the function of immune cells under the continuous process of immune cell differentiation and turnover, taking into account the in vivo microenvironment. Currently, the group has developed a new mouse model that produces tissue-specific human IL-7, resulting in significantly higher thymic T cell differentiation and increased peripheral T cell counts. The number of all T cell subpopulations, including regulatory T cells, is so high in these animals that we will conduct immunization experiments in the next step.
  • Protective and pathogenic immune responses to SARS-CoV-2
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI)
    Long-term study of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 from the onset of the disease over a period of 3 years if possible. 1) Long term protective immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection? Longevity of antibody titers (of different specificity) and SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells and T cell effector functions? 2) How does the immune response of older (>65 years) patients differ from the immune response of younger patients (<40 years)? Which parameters of the immune response of older patients are associated with a worse prognosis? 3) Are pre-existing antibodies against (other) corona viruses possibly pathogenic (antibody dependent enhancement)? The answers are relevant for the prognosis and therapy of patients and for vaccine development (definition of protective immune responses). Competencies: Highly parametric single cell analyses (CyTOF), analysis of antigen-specific T-cell effector functions, analysis not only from blood but also from tonsils of critically ill patients.
  • Online monitoring for parameterized modeling of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI)
    Modelling and predicting the course of the pandemic is made difficult by the high temporal and local dynamics of the influencing variables. In order to map the developments in different districts, federal states, conurbations or rural areas, to assess the effectiveness of measures and to contain a resurgence of infections at an early stage, it is helpful to be able to model the course of the pandemic quickly, easily parameterised and in real time. The development of an online monitor for statistical analysis and modelling of the pandemic course is proposed, which accesses a common database and can be extended by user-specified data if necessary. The monitor is to be regularly adapted by appropriate experts and supplemented by suitable epidemiological models and parameterisations.
  • Development of new antivirals and therapeutic measures against Covid-19 - Blueprint for future respiratory virus x pandemics
    Leibniz Association: Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI)
    • Establishment of new infrastructures and capacities for diagnostics and development of new active substances and therapeutic measures against COVID-19
    • Preclinical evaluation of new antivirals for outpatient and inpatient care in preclinical 3D models
    • Rapid Response for NGS- and mass spectrometry-based pathogen detection
    • Investigation of the biology and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 compared to SARS-CoV, other CoVs and influenza
    • Metagenomics of SARS-CoV-2 patient samples over time of infection
    • Research on the immune system to answer the question why the immune system of older people and men cope less well with the disease
    • Structure and function of coronaviral replication/transcription complexes (as potential targets for new drugs)
  • Diary study on Corona-related home office
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo)
    The diary study examines processes of adaptation to the situation of remote work among employees for whom this situation is unfamiliar. The survey has started in early April 2020.
  • Information on resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR)
    The Corona crisis is a psychological burden for people worldwide. The Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research provides information on how to deal with psychological stress during the Corona pandemic. They also provide useful links to literature, studies and media reports on the psychological consequences of the Corona pandemic.
  • LORA-COVID
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR)
    In this study, 500 of 1200 subjects from the LORA ("Longitudinal Assessment of Resilience") study, which has been running for about 2 years, are interviewed weekly regarding stress, resilience and psychological strain caused by the Corona crisis. The monitoring of the test persons over the last 2 years gives us the possibility to relate the current stress and its neurobiological correlates to the initial state of the test persons.
  • Ad-hoc working group
    Leibniz Association: Academy for Spatial Research and Planning - Leibniz Forum for Spatial Sciences (ARL)
    Among other things, questions on the availability/accessibility of small-scale data bases on the health and supply infrastructure, on risk analysis of the areas of human beings, the environment and the national economy, including environmental justice, differentiated according to (planning) levels/responsibilities, as well as medium-term requirements for action in various policy fields are dealt with, in derivation of the scenarios on long-term spatial impacts. Sustainable spatial development includes, among other things, planning-related questions on the design of public spaces, securing local supply, accessibility to social infrastructure, spatial segregation, regional economic effects, e.g. in regions with a strong tourism industry and the organisation of public transport/logistics, and the consequences for public participation in planning processes.
  • Resilience of regional economies
    Leibniz Association: Academy for Spatial Research and Planning - Leibniz Forum for Spatial Sciences (ARL)
    Apart from cultural, political and psychological implications, debates on the corona pandemic and its socio-economic implications have so far hardly focused on the following paradox: supply shortages, quarantine and travel restrictions have led to new forms of local solidarity. These also include non-market transactions, which is why the crisis is raising awareness of a broader understanding of economics. In addition, established social economy organisations have had to cope with the effects of the crisis in particular. They appear to be falling through the grid of state aid programmes. This is part of a debate about the resilience of regional economic systems, security of supply in times of global crises and the basic orientation of economic and social policy. Questions of spatial development are also of interest here.
  • Organization of data and knowledge for COVID-19 research
    Leibniz Association: German National Library of Science and Techonology - Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology (TIB)
    The TIB is working on two approaches to support COVID-19 research with a semantic networking of data and knowledge:
    1. the development of the Open Research Knowledge Graph service (https://orkg.org), which semantically describes scientific publications related to COVID-19 and thereby generates overviews of the state of research with regard to a specific research question.
    2. integration and linking of different COVID-19 data sources (including UK BioBank with clinical data on COVID-19 patients) for integrated analysis.
  • Development of methods for virological mass testing
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS)
    With the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, ISAS has quickly expanded its focus and is now developing new methods to diagnose COVID-19 cases independently of PCR on the basis of mass spectrometry from nose/throat swabs. Once the method has been established, it will be extended to the detection of other viral pathogens.
  • Virus sensor
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS)
    With the PAMONO virus sensor physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians from Dortmund (Germany) developed an instrument with which analysis procedures can be carried out in real time and on site. PAMONO can also be used outside special laboratories to determine the infection status of large groups, for example airport passengers or residents of entire housing estates. Only a few minutes after sampling (saliva, blood or wastewater) the test results can be obtained. This measurement procedure can prevent the introduction, further spread and recurrence of viruses.
  • Blood plasma analysis
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS)
    Detection of 17 selected hormones in the blood plasma of COVID-19 infected patients using mass spectrometric methods. These are delivered to the Heinrich-Pette-Institute - Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, providing them with additional parameters for the evaluation of severe courses.
  • Cardiac disease progression
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS)
    Detection of blood plasma components to assess severe cardiac disease progression.
  • EU-funded project "Sporosan" (in German)
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP)
    The two-component disinfection system Sporosan is effective against ALL pathogens (including viruses and stubborn bacterial spores). It is also non-inflammable and theft-proof.
    As part of the project, INP is currently building a disinfection system that will allow hand disinfection in highly frequented places (e.g. railway stations, airports and hospitals). With the pilot plant developed in this project, 18 people can disinfect their hands simultaneously. The system is modular and works self-sufficiently except for water supply. It can provide approx. 1 million hand disinfections with a single disinfectant filling.
  • Air quality during lockdown
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS)
    Measurement and modelling of physical and chemical aerosol properties in urban and rural areas in Germany, Europe (via ACTRIS) and comparison of northern and southern hemisphere.
  • DynaCORE-L - Longitudinal DynaMORE study on psychological reactions to the Corona crisis
    Leibniz Association: Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR)
    In the European research consortium DynaMORE, scientists work together to find out how people adapt to adverse life circumstances and stress, and which factors protect them from developing stress-related mental disorders. This differs from person to person and from time to time. The Corona pandemic is affecting the lives of people all around the world and offers the opportunity to investigate which strategies are helpful in overcoming such big challenges. After having conducted a broad international study on how the corona pandemic was momentarily affecting the lives across the planet, LIR now strives to find out whether the initial survey answers change as the situation evolves. In this, LIR is especially interested in personal strategies to cope with the situation and how these may change over the coming weeks. The results from this survey can provide helpful coping strategies to others during this crisis and in the future. Participants are asked to fill out one questionnaire per week to assess how they feel during that week specifically.
  • Inter-Disciplinary Thematic Platform for Global Health (in Spanish)
    Spanish National Research Council
    To address the coronavirus pandemic, CSIC has created the Inter-Disciplinary Thematic Platform for Global Health and has funded 12 research projects with a major donation from the MAPFRE Foundation. Dr. Anna Planas from IIBB is leading one of these projects that intends to identify the individual risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19 and discover possible treatments. This study will be carried out in collaboration with Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, ISGlobal, Hospital de Sant Pau and several CSIC institutes of Valencia (IBV), Madrid (CNB), Granada (IPBLN), Santander (IFCA) and Galicia (CESGA).
  • CSIC research project on COVID-19 containment measures (in Spanish)
    Spanish National Research Council
    This project by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) uses computing and data science techniques to see how the containment measures that have been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 are effective. The results are going to be essential to improve social distancing strategies taken in future outbreaks of this disease or others.
  • COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium
    UK Research and Innovation
    Supported by the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England, UKRI, and Wellcome, this consortium will enable clinicians and public health teams to rapidly investigate clusters of cases in hospitals, care homes and the community, to understand how the virus is spread and implement appropriate infection control measures.

Information Portals

  • UKRI Coronavirus Hub
    UK Research and Innovation
    The UKRI Coronavirus Hub gives you the latest information on the vital work of UKRI and our community in response to the crisis, what grants and awards we have made, and our continuing call to fund your ideas to limit the outbreak and protect life.
  • Coronavirus – The Science Explained
    UK Research and Innovation
    Coronavirus: the science explained is a UKRI website that lays out the evidence and the facts about the virus, the disease, the epidemic, and its control. The website will be regularly updated with the latest science information behind the coronavirus outbreak.

Data and Publication Sharing Initiatives

  • Mandatory COVID-19 Open Data Access through HRB Open Research
    Health Research Board, Irish Research Council
    The Health Research Board (HRB) and Irish Research Council (IRC) have made it a mandatory requirement for all projects funded through their Rapid Response Call to publish their protocols and findings in real time on the HRB Open Research publishing platform.
  • MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis: Covid-19 reports
    UK Research and Innovation
    Since the emergence of COVID-19 in December 2019, the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (a UKRI Institute) at Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team has been sharing research findings on the developing pandemic. This webpage page provides all publicly published online reports.
  • Wellcome call for 'Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak'
    Wellcome has issued a statement calling on researchers, journals, and funders to openly and rapidly share research data to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak can inform the public health response and help save lives. Multiple Science Europe Member Organisations have signed Wellcome's statement.

Other Initiatives

  • Science 4 COVID-19
    Foundation for Science and Technology
    Open and inclusive call for ideas and the organisation of task forces to collect and mobilize ideas from science and innovation players, by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation in close co-operation with public and private research performing organisations.

     

  • Apply to switch your existing funding to COVID-19 priority areas
    UK Research and Innovation
    UKRI has put in place a process to allow researchers to repurpose existing UKRI standard grants to address COVID-19 research priorities.

     

  • Development of Parenting during COVID-19 pamphlette
    UK Research and Innovation
    UKRI’s GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Hub joined forces with the WHO and UNICEF to produce evidence-based tips for parents to talk about COVID-19 including planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour and managing stress.