On 10 April 2020, the three northern provinces and the Northern Netherlands Alliance (Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, SNN) offered a grant of a million euros for innovative corona solutions.
A total of 22 proposals were submitted by northern entrepreneurs, researchers and care institutions. This demonstrates their outstanding innovative strength and commitment to tackling this health crisis (also in the longer term). This is positive and promising for the Northern Netherlands and beyond. After the evaluation, five innovative projects were awarded the grant: Avebe’s was among them.
Speeding up research and innovative solutions
The ‘COVID-19 grant’ is intended to accelerate the advancement of research and innovative solutions that contribute to solving the current coronavirus health crisis. There is an urgent need for innovations that fight the virus. The grant could help to accelerate its development.
From potato to virtual reality
The submitted projects are highly varied and lead to unexpected combinations. It had long been known that potatoes are not only for consumption. As well as the fact that potatoes grown in the north of the Netherlands for Avebe contain raw materials for glues, coatings and healthy food, one of the projects is now also looking into whether potato components could have an inhibiting effect on viruses such as corona.
The projects receiving the grant focus not only on finding a new vaccine or medicine, but also on COVID-19-related care such as better diagnostics and faster rehabilitation. One of the projects combines expertise in the field of serious gaming and virtual reality with knowledge of rehabilitation and treatment therapies, for instance. This is a promising combination to offer corona patients the right care and treatment, where possible without the intervention of a healthcare provider.
The grant for the five projects is being issued by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).