Government is investing $25 million to speed up the trial and deployment of innovations to help New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods.
The COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund is aimed at the fast development of new products and services that could help to detect, diagnose, treat or prevent COVID-19, by supporting Research & Development, prototyping and pre-production activities.
“Scientists, researchers and innovators in New Zealand and across the globe, are working hard to resolve the myriad of challenges COVID-19 presents. Working across government, the research sector and with businesses to respond hard and fast against the serious global health threat is vital, and this new Fund supports New Zealand’s problem solvers to get cutting-edge products and services to market quickly,” said Megan Woods.
The fund which was established in March has already allocated $6.75 million to projects so far, including:
· Supporting the validation of technology that can detect COVID-19 antibodies in blood (Digital Sensing Ltd)
· Supporting the development of a simple, versatile ventilator, capable of ventilating COVID-19 patients at the different stages of disease progression (ES Plastics)
· Supporting early stage research investigating the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are working across government to develop a vaccine strategy with the research and science community, and potential vaccine manufacturers. While that strategy is being developed, I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to support researchers with part-funding through this Fund to allow them to start getting on with this important work.
“I’m excited to see how quickly the research, science and innovation sector has responded to this challenge and I’m confident that together we’ll be able to come up with some exciting solutions,” said Megan Woods.
Media contact: Liz Banas 021 805 845