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Detecting viruses, bacteria, tumor markers or dangerous environmental toxins quickly and accurately saves lives. Two innovative projects funded by the Foundation in the corona context show what effective diagnostics could look like in the future.

The Volkswagen Foundation approved almost 250 million euros for scientific projects in 2020. The most important figures, data and facts from our 2020 annual report.

What are the consequences of corona-related mobility restrictions and who is affected and in what way? In close cooperation, scholars from Germany, South Korea, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo want to conduct comparative research on this issue. 

With 15 million euros, the Foundation is funding four centers for science of science communication. An interview about qualification criteria and the contribution to a highly topical field of research.

The program "Challenges for Europe" had its first call in 2017, when Europe experienced a very intensive phase of multi crises: the refugee distribution crisis after 2015, the Brexit in 2016 and a rise in populism across Europe. Four years later, we brought together the 13 projects from the first two rounds of the initiative in Schloss Herrenhausen for a statussymposium. Program Manager Dr. Annabella Fick draws a personal résumé. 

As nationalist forces increasingly strain Europe's cohesion, the "Challenges for Europe" funding initiative brings together partner research institutions from East and West. The variety of topics in this open call for proposals is great: It ranges from AI-assisted asylum policy and civil movements to strategies against social polarization.

The Corona pandemic has put the issue of health at the top of the global agenda: a conversation about the consequences of the pandemic in Africa, neglected tropical diseases and the One Health approach.

What lessons can be learnt from the pandemic? How must research and the science system change to become more resilient? Professor Johannes Schöning and Dr. Georg Schütte exchanged ideas about possible solutions. 

How can viruses be prevented from being transmitted from animals to humans and thus triggering the next pandemic? With its new funding initiative, the Volkswagen Foundation is supporting researchers who are looking for answers to this complex question.