Welcome to the ECME COVID-19 Response Mini Projects






The ECME research centre, managed by Ulster University, is welcoming proposals from eligible enterprises for grant awards of up to £30,000 to support the strategic objectives of the centre.  The awards will support initiatives that allow build on established capabilities, accelerate current research and technology development, or enhance emerging strategic priority areas. Projects that receive funding through the ECME Programme will allow industry and researchers to remain at the forefront of exploration and discovery and make meaningful contributions to the social, health, environmental and economic well-being of citizens across the eligible area.

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the research and innovation community, both in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and internationally. ECME will invite proposals that align with the challenge areas identified by the World Health Organisation including the provision of PPE equipment and the supply of rapid diagnostic kits.

The ECME centre will make grant awards to several industry collaborators to assist with the commercialisation of co-developed products and services which align to national and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This will be done through a competitive process to maximise the impact of the grant awards on sustainable economic and COVID-19 activity.

Qualifying Criteria including Eligible Area

Enterprises and organisations who wish to submit proposals as part of this call must be located within the EU’s INTERREG VA area or be able to measure economic impact from the funded project within the eligible area.  Details on territory covered as part of INTERREG VA can be found here:  https://www.seupb.eu/iva-overview

Challenge Areas

Applications for grant awards under this call are expected to support the objectives of ECME’s COVID-19 response and could, but not exclusively, address some of the following themes and challenges.  Applications from outside the scope of these challenges areas that demonstrate innovative solutions to the developing need, are also encouraged.

– Development of Machine Learning algorithms that can assist in COVID-19 modelling.

– Use of clinical datasets to enhance decision making and improve patient care pathways with reference to COVID-19.

– The design and manufacture of PPE equipment for use by front line staff in the healthcare system dealing with COVID-19 patients.

– The development of rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

– Development of technologies aligned with the national and international requirement for additional ventilator equipment.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be used in selection of the successful projects:

– Alignment to national and international objectives and challenge areas regarding COVID-19.

– Alignment to ECME’s strategic objectives with regard knowledge expansion, economic impact, and sustainability.

– Ability of the project to deliver measurable impact (within the period of the award) to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Evidence that the proposal delivers value for money for public expenditure.

– Evidence that the applicant has the resources to complete the project within the given time-frame and within the current restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

– Applications should build on established capabilities, accelerate current research and technology development, or enhance emerging strategic priority areas.


The following documents are available for download:

Introduction Letter from Professor Jim McLaughlin, Ulster University

Full details of the  ECME First Call for Proposals

Application Form

Application Form Guidance Notes

Closing Date

The is closing date for the First Call is Friday 24th April, 2020. We would encourage all interested parties to submit their application as soon as possible.

The ECME Assessment and Evaluation Panel will meet on the week commencing Monday 27th April and information on awards will be released to applicants on or before Thursday 7th May 2020.


Please contact Patrick Cullen at p.cullen1@ulster.ac.uk for further details.


The ECME Mini Projects are supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).