Thursday, April 09, 2020

By Ciarán Sunderland

The brothers are donors to the Fast grants research fund. File picture.

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

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

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.

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