Altogether over €12 million have been allocated to various crisis-related studies during the coronavirus pandemic from the budget of the Ministry of Education and Research, while the funding of such studies is also set to continue in 2022.
Head of the research and development department at the ministry Katrin Pihor said that the ministry disbursed close to €8 million for COVID-19 studies in 2020 and over €4 million in 2021.
University of Tartu Vice-Rector for Research Kristjan Vassil said that cooperation between the university and ministries has been good, close and trusting.
"The state has actively cooperated with researchers in its efforts to resolve the coronavirus crisis and allocated significant amounts of additional funding for COVID studies through various types of targeted support and application rounds," Vassil said.
Several large-scale COVID-19 studies are about to be launched in the near future. Starting from 2021, the Ministry of Education and Research has been supporting COVID-19 related studies from the REACT-EU resources as part of a measure called "Conduct of research studies for curbing and monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19." The total volume of the measure is €5.5 million and in total six studies are planned to be carried out. The University of Tartu is the ministry's partner and the establishment conducting the studies.
The studies to be carried out according to a plan approved this week include a COVID-19 prevalence monitoring study with a budget of €1.57 million, COVID-19 wastewater monitoring study with a budget of €1.18 million, the KoroGeno-Est 2 and KoroGeno-Est 3 studies for sequencing whole genomes of SARS-CoV-2 and conducing their molecular epidemiological analysis with a budget of €1.23 million, longitudinal studies with a budget of €0.56 million, and active monitoring of coronavirus infections in schools with a budget of €0.78 million.
Editor: Roberta Vaino