SZ offers rewards for virus research

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Holly Wang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily 

Medical science research institutions registered in Shenzhen will be rewarded for contributing breakthrough to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control, according to a plan on the treatment of the disease released by the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission on Wednesday.

An innovation in science fund management, the scheme is the first time that the commission has offered to reward projects in advanced, without need for applications for approvals, for major science and technology research.

The commission will direct the research based on the needs of the city’s epidemic prevention and control frontline, including in areas like testing, vaccine development, therapeutic pathological mechanisms, pharmaceutical effectiveness and technical specifications.

After experts appraise the existing demand, informed by the effectivity of the targeted medical products, the commission will offer prizes to attract science research institutions and enterprises to bid for the research.

“The user-guided reward mechanism sets clear targets for researchers and will be helpful for mobilizing research resources in a fast manner,” Peng Zhen, a plan drafter with the commission, said at an interview with the DT News on Wednesday.

“We are trying to maximize the use of technological resources, within the range of policies, to invite research institutions registered in Shenzhen to participate in tackling key problems in coronavirus medical research. If the project is led by institutions in Hong Kong, we can also directly transfer the science and research fund to Hong Kong according to related policies,” said Peng.

Based on the number of final winning bidders for the objects, the commission will give out subsidies in a flexible manner and different forms including beforehand rewards for potential projects without prior approval, post-research subsidies upon project completion and work-in-progress subsidies. For one prize that has more than two successful bidders, “horse racing” subsidies will be applied based on their achievements at different stages.

Institutions that complete their research projects in advance will be offered an extra reward by the commission.