SARS-CoV-2 relief efforts and funding opportunities

The purpose of this overview is to help the companies and research institutions in our network to quickly find the information on open calls and relief efforts they need.

  1. Support at the EU level and further international actions
  2. Measures in Austria
  3. Complementary support opportunities in Vienna
  4. Further resources

The LISAvienna team is still here for you, and we can provide support by phone, e-mail or online conferences. We are mostly working from home.

1. Support at the EU level and further international actions

European Research Infrastructures

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of research infrastructures has set up specific services, such as rapid or fast track access, to speed up research. This is a great resource to develop the solutions needed right now. Click here for an overview. The list for example includes biobanks and services for the design, planning and management of multinational clinical trials.

European COVID-19 Data Platform

The European Commission and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), together with EU Member States and research partners such as ELIXIR, are deploying a dedicated European COVID-19 Data Platform to enable the rapid collection and comprehensive data sharing of available research data from different sources for the European and global research communities. The European COVID-19 Data Platform consists of two connected components:

  • SARS-CoV-2 Data Hubs organized the flow of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak sequence data and provide comprehensive open data sharing.
  • The COVID-19 Data Portal brings together and continuously updates COVID-19 datasets and tools, hosts sequence data sharing and facilitates access to other SARS-CoV-2 resources. This is the primary entry point into the functions of the European COVID-19 Data Platform.

InnovFin Infectious Diseases

The InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) provides financial products ranging from standard debt to equity-type financing for amounts typically between EUR 7.5 million and EUR 75 million, to innovative players active in developing innovative vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructures for combatting infectious diseases. Project costs may include clinical trial costs, set-up of commercialisation such as market access, development of prototypes or industrial roll-out of novel equipment, pre-clinical R&D costs and working capital requirement. The product is being made available directly through the European Investment Bank. Further details are available here.

Care & Industry together against CORONA

The Enterprise Europe Network has set up a new European cooperation platform. Companies, research institutions, healthcare organizations and governments are invited to benefit from this online marketplace and have the opportunity to share information on their products, services, projects and initiatives as regards COVID-19.

Further details are provided here.

EU: € 1 billion mobilized under Horizon 2020

To help reach the objectives of the Coronavirus Global Response, € 1 billion will be mobilized under the EU’s program for research and innovation, Horizon 2020:

  • € 450 million for developing scientific solutions for testing, treating and preventing against the coronavirus and developing health systems
  • € 400 million EC guarantee of the European Investment Bank lending to finance precommercial stage investments in COVID-19 research and development (including scale up of production facilities)
  • € 150 million for disruptive innovations on COVID-19 under the European Innovation Council’s Accelerator

This factsheet provides further details.

FFG COVID-19 EU support website provides updates on open calls and initiatives

To help companies and research institutions to quickly find new opportunities for support that are launched at the EU-level, a special website has been created summarizing relevant information.

2. Measures in Austria

FWF: Urgent Funding SARS-CoV-2

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is calling on researchers to submit project proposals for research into humanitarian crises such as epidemics and pandemics within its existing programmes but as part of a new fast track procedure. The goal is to initiate, as quickly as possible, additional high-quality scientific and scholarly projects at research institutions throughout Austria and thus expand capacities and structures, thereby contributing to overcoming the current humanitarian crisis as well as future ones. Expertise of all disciplines sought after. Submissions will be accepted from April 6 to September, 30, 2020. Click here for details on the FWF priority procedures and collaboration opportunities.

aws: COVID-19 Package for Start-ups

The Austrian Federal Government has presented a new COVID package for start-ups. The following support measures are available:

  • COVID Start-up Support Fund: Innovate Start-ups may apply for a grant doubling PE and PE-like investments placed since the beginning of the COVID-crisis. The minimum investment sum is €10,000 and grants need to be paid back in case of success. A total budget of €50 million is available for these grants.
  • Guarantees for Venture Capital Funds: aws guarantees will be applied to mobilize additional risk capital for start-ups. €25 million will be made available to back up to 50% of fund volumes. Venture Capital Funds will invest €200,000 to €1 million in each start-up selected for an investment.

aws guarantee in connection with the coronavirus crisis

The aim is to facilitate the financing of working capital loans for companies whose sales and earnings performance is impacted by the loss of orders and deliveries or other market changes as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
NEW: 100% guarantee rate for loans up to €500,000 and 90% for loans up to €27.7 million!
Click here for information about the expanded and simplified aws guarantee.

Corona Support Fund: Operating Cost Grant

The federal government has announced to grant operating cost subsidies to support the Austrian economy. Applications can be submitted via FinanzOnline as of May 20, 2020. Additional details are available here.

WKO: Backstop fund: Phase 2

The Backstop fund installed by the Austrian Federal Government supports self-employed people. Following the doubling of the budget and an extension of the eligibility criteria, phase 2 funding has started. Further details are available here.

3. Complementary support opportunities in Vienna

Vienna: StolzaufWien BeteiligungsGmbH

Wien Holding will found a new association named „StolzaufWien BeteiligungsGmbH“ that will take shares in strategically relevant Viennese companies that are at risk because of the coronavirus-crisis. An initial funding volume of € 50 million will be made available. The City of Vienna will provide € 20 million, Wirtschaftskammer Wien and additional private partners will provide € 30 million.

  • max. € 1 million per company
  • max. 20% shares
  • exit after max. 7 years

Details are available here.

Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff): Labor foundations

waff and the Vienna Public Employment Service (AMS) can support Vienna-based companies in a variety of ways: from setting up a labor foundation (Arbeitsstiftung) when staff need to be made redundant to providing training for employees during a period of further education leave or while they are working reduced hours. If redundancies are unavoidable, labour foundations offer the employees affected the opportunity to make a career change. The municipality of Vienna provides financial assistance to participants who live in Vienna. Funds for such foundations have been increased by € 3 million. Additional details on labor foundations and crisis management are provided here.

Wiener Kreditbürgschafts-und Beteiligungsbank (WKBG): Corona stop-gap aid

Guarantees of up to € 500,000  are available for Viennese SMEs - wired to the respective companies’ banks. The City of Vienna and WKW each provide € 5 million for this new WKBG guarantee program and defray the costs for commissions and the service fee. Click here for more details about the WKBG stop-gap aid.

4. Further resources

Please click here for a broad overview on the coronavirus response at the EU level. and visit the European Research Area (ERA) corona platform. In addition, please also have a look at the Vienna Business Agency's new list on relief efforts and read the summary provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance provides information on tax related relief efforts and support. Furthermore, we recommend the special coronavirus website operated by ABA.

  • Note: The European standards for medical supplies have been made freely available to facilitate an increase of production.
  • Note: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is contributing to global efforts to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic by expediting the development and approval of safe and effective treatments and vaccines, supporting the continued availability of medicines in the European Union (EU), and providing reliable information to patients and healthcare professionals. The COVID-19 EMA pandemic Task Force is the main tool of EMA and the European medicines regulatory network for enabling EU Member States and the European Commission to take quick and coordinated regulatory action during the pandemic.

This list is not exhaustive. Feel free to contact us at news(at) to request any additions or changes. We will update this page on an ongoing basis.