Deadline: 17 April 2020
Mauritius still faces challenges in the coordination of its response to this pandemic. In order to face this unique crisis, by its magnitude and its impact on our society, the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), through this special call for projects, has earmarked funds to encourage entrepreneurs, academics, researchers, enterprises and start-ups implement short and medium term projects that aim at improving and accelerating the Government’s response to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and eventually contribute to counter the impacts and planning beyond of this deadly pandemic.
Through this Special Call, the MRIC aims to contribute towards efforts being deployed nationally, through the provision of dedicated and targeted funding for Research and Innovation based actions. The objective of this Special Call is to develop and expedite the production (or adaptation) of technologies and services that will assist the health and relevant authorities in their work and in the deployment of general protection measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Support under this Special Call is being targeted simultaneously on two fronts, namely:
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- Technology-based products and services: eg development of products, materials, innovative technologies (including software and apps) and manufacturing/production processes, practical demonstrations, equipment prototypes or the development of a scaling process for the transition from experimental production to large production;
- Social and policy measures: eg, analysing and improving logistics of the response to the outbreak; strategies to improve public awareness, knowledge and trust; new approaches to minimise misinformation, stigma and fear; cultural dimensions of the epidemic; evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of social policies to contain the outbreak (school closures, lockdown, supply shortages, travel restrictions, etc) and identifying improvements or new policies; social dynamics of transmission and vulnerability and how to improve communication of risks, uncertainties and implications as well as the psychological impacts during and after the lockdown.
The priorities of this Special Call are:
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- aligned with the need to develop innovative and sustained counter-measures to mitigate the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the country, and
- informed by the ongoing dialogue to provide a boost to enterprises and businesses willing to contribute to the response to the outbreak as part of a coherent and integrated national effort and to plan beyond the pandemic.
Projects that can be funded under this Special Call are encouraged to leverage on existing infrastructure, capabilities and networks with local partners.
Indicative Eligible Areas
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- Development of innovative products
- Protective equipment (including face masks, head protective shields, eye shields, gloves, shoe covers, gowns, body suits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)).
- Products for sanitizing persons and surfaces to prevent contagion.
- Medical equipment for hospital treatment or home treatment.
- Equipment to monitor and control contagious individuals for local use (home or workplace) use.
- Sheeting or temporary structures for quarantine and separation of factory departments to ensure work continuity.
- Use of innovative materials or production processes
- Innovation in raw materials and development of new industrial raw materials, e.g. chemicals for use in sanitizer products.
- Developing innovative production processes or methods to improve quality or availability of existing products, including the use of 3D-printing technologies.
- Adapting existing products to prevent, treat, or cope with COVID 19 cases.
- Developing new technological capabilities of the production plant
- Technological developments for production line automation or for improvement of the production line’s productivity and output that may increase inventory availability for products needed to deal with outbreaks of the virus.
- Development of improved or new processes
- Streamlining and improvement of testing and diagnostic processes and solutions that will enable efficient and mass testing for the coronavirus.
- Tools for contagion reduction and prevention.
- Expansion of remote healthcare services, including a significant expansion of the quantity and types of services that are provided digitally, or which can be provided without a need to physically visit the health organization. This can include, but is not limited to, treatment, prevention, diagnostics, monitoring, process streamlining, interfaces and systems, for the individual and/or the general public.
- Development and re-purposing of antiviral products for treatment of the disease, or other products that may serve as a supporting therapy, or for diagnostics and prevention.
- Structural studies and evaluation of novel molecules for potential antiviral use against the coronavirus.
- Digital solutions for controlling and monitoring the spread of the virus, as well as its implications for health services.
- Exploring/developing models and subsequently forecast the transmission of the coronavirus under different scenarios in Mauritius; developing modelling tools for projections of the disease at national level and looking at the effects of interventions as well as the development of treatment;
- Solutions for smart management of public assistance centres, and for the effective communication with the public during and after the outbreak
- Solutions to expand the capacity of respiratory intensive care units and that assist in the monitoring and simultaneous treatment of multiple people hospitalized with acute respiratory disease.
- The total amount available for this funding opportunity is currently MUR30 Million.
- The MRIC will allocate the available budget across the two Research and Innovation areas to ensure a balanced response.
- For the Technology-based counter-measures, the maximum amount per grant is MUR 2 Million over 3 to 9 months.
- For the Social and Policy counter-measures, the maximum amount per grant is MUR1 Million over 3 to 9 months.
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NGOs including community-based organisations, the Maker community, academia, companies and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply, preferably in networked form. This Special Call for Proposals applies to applications from Mauritius, Rodrigues and the outer islands within the Republic of Mauritius.
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Funding decisions will be reached no more than 2 weeks after the closure of the
For more information, visit http://www.mric.mu/English/Pages/Special-Call-for-Proposals—Fast-track-innovative-projects-to-counter-the-impacts-of-COVID-19.aspx