Presentation of the NRP 78 synthesis report at the final media conference

The final media conference of the "Covid-19" National Research Programme (NRP 78) took place on 14 November 2023. The summary report and recommendations to the authorites were presented in the Federal Press Centre in Berne.

The National Research Programme "Covid-19" (NRP 78) produced a large number of scientific results and new findings on how to deal with future pandemics. These were presented at the final media conference in the Federal Media Centre on 14 November 2023. With a budget of CHF 20 million, the programme included around 200 researchers in a total of 28 projects. Several projects conducted basic research to better understand the biologic mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 and, in particular, investigated the reaction that the virus triggers in the immune system. Another group of projects investigated new approaches to epidemiology and prevention by researching transmission routes and developing effective protective measures. Various projects contributed to the development of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines, while several clinical studies investigated the efficacy of different therapeutic interventions for the treatment of Covid-19 diseases.

In addition to the specific research results, also overarching findings were presented. These concerned the special framework conditions for scientific research in crisis situations. Particular emphasis was placed on the influence of the dynamics of the pandemic on the research programme, which required the scientific community to be able to adapt very quickly. Linda Nartey, Deputy Director at the FOPH, emphasized that research is of great importance to the public administration, especially in the early detection and decision-making process in pandemics. Marcel Salathé, President of the NRP 78 Steering Committee, pointed out that cooperation between research and the authorities must be intensified and institutionalized to function frictionless in crisis situations.

The synthesis report on the research programme contains brief summaries of all 28 projects as well as an appraisal of the research work in the four scientific modules. Various recommendations are made in the content section of synthesis report, including the institutionalization of knowledge transfer between science and the authorities.