By Ciarán Sunderland
Patrick and John Collison, brothers and billionaire Irish tech entrepreneurs have pledged to fund researchers working on Covid-19 studies.
The co-founders of Stripe, a financial payments technology company, are part of the research funding trust fastgrants.org.
In a statement, the trust said: “Science funding mechanisms are too slow in normal times and may be much too slow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fast Grants are an effort to correct this. If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, we invite you to apply for a Fast Grant.”
Funds available range from $10,000 to $500,000 and applications are decided upon within 48 hours according to fastgrants.org.
The research funding is administrated by Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
In a tweet, Patrick Collison said: “Science can move very quickly when properly enabled. I’m happy to play a small role in supporting it.”
Yesterday, a team of Irish scientists averted another potential Covid-19 crisis by developing a key test chemical whose supplies were running low.
Working remotely, the team devised, manufactured and validated their own formula for the so-called ‘lysis buffer’, and now have a process in place to scale-up production for enough chemical to facilitate thousands of tests daily on swabs in labs around the country.