Coronavirus hub – bioeconomy industry responses, needs and requests.

Luke Upton

The bioeconomy response to Coronavirus has been widespread and varied. In order to help collate and showcase some of the current projects, developments and offers and requests for help and assistance. Please email if you having something you’d like shared with our network. We will also be sharing on social media and in a new special section of our twice monthly newsletter.


Italian bioplastics company Novamont  is continuing operations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Close collaboration, innovative solutions and far-reaching protective measures are all making it possible for Novamont Group to remain open and fully operational, the company reports. All sites are open and running, both in Italy and abroad, as the activities of the bioplastics manufacturer have been classified as essential under the March 22 decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Novamont is continuing to support its clients and partners as far as possible. Remaining open, however, has demanded adopting unprecedented safeguards and measures, the company said. Read more here.



3rd-5th April. The MIT COVID-19 Challenge virtual event ‘Beat the Pandemic’. MIT is hosting a series of challenges to empower the broader community and we invite actors around the world  to join forces with actors in Massachusetts to take action on the COVID-19 crisis. The challenge takes place from Friday, April 3 till Sunday, April 5. This is part of a series of virtual hackathons with partners from across the MIT and healthcare ecosystems. In this event, participants will form teams to generate solutions for the most pressing technical, social, and financial issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here.


1st April: As healthcare facilities are facing issues with the supply of equipments, Seppic’s plant in Castres and Serdex in Pau have distributed more than 40,000 pieces of disposable equipments (gowns, hats, gloves) available in their stocks to Castres-Mazamet Intercommunal Hospital, the Purpan University Hospital in Toulouse and the Regional Health Agency.


31st March: A group of leading medical device development companies from Cambridge was asked by the UK Government to assist in the rapid development and manufacture of ventilators to meet increased hospital requirements, caused by COVID-19.

Cambridge Consultants, PA Consulting, Sagentia, Team Consulting and TTP plc took up the challenge and MetLase provided industrial support. These companies represent the renowned Cambridge Cluster, Europe’s largest technology hub, with more than 1,500 companies employing tens of thousands. Read more here.


Ongoing: OpenCovid19 Initiative. The goal of the OpenCovid19 initiative as a program is to collectively develop open-source and low-cost tools and methodologies that are safe and easy to use to fight the Covid19 Pandemic. Anyone can play a role, click here for more.  They have a particular need for engineers, doctors, managers, government and NGO validation, investors.

It is run by Just One Giant Lab (JOGL), is a non profit headquarted in Paris, France. JOGL is a decentralized open research and innovation laboratory. The goal of JOGL is to catalyze the collective creation of knowledge and solutions to resolve humanity’s most urgent challenges.


25th March: MOL has transformed one of its production facilities at Almásfüzitő into a sanitizer production plant to help the fight against the coronavirus. The facility, which is operating 24/7 in three shifts, has a production capacity of 50,000 liters of sanitizer. The first volumes have started shipping to certain key state institutions .The new product line will be available from mid-April at MOL service stations under the brand name MOL Hygi.


24th March: To show their appreciation for those on the front lines fighting COVID-19, Allbirds are offering a free pair of shoes to those working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK Simply fill out the form here and the team will get back to you after verification (note, quantities are limited). UK only. Offer valid while stock lasts, quantities are limited.


23rd March: MiProbes wants to help by developing a portable, rapid, low cost test for COVID-19. They are currently focused on identifying viral peptides of SARS-CoV-2 that can interact with transcription factors in our bio-ink. Read their call here and reach out to


23rd March: DSM are donating 260’000 bottles of hand sanitizer from our their production location Waalwijk in the Netherlands to Dutch hospitals.


18th March: Ginkgo have built their platform to enable partners across a wide range of applications to rapidly scale their R&D efforts, and we want to apply this technology today to the fight against the pandemic. To support the people building the treatments that will stop COVID-19 Ginkgo is now offering:

  • $25M of no-cost foundry work towards projects that can use Ginkgo’s platform to accelerate development of point of care diagnostics, vaccines, or therapeutics.
  • Connection to sources of funding from private and public sources. If you are interested in funding COVID-19 work, we can connect you to vetted technical teams.
  • Rapid sharing of R&D information as it is learned among the community of academics and companies working on solutions.

If you are currently a company or academic lab that is developing a diagnostic, drug, or vaccine and are interested in leveraging Ginkgo’s infrastructure at no cost please email them at And read more here. 


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