To meet the challenges imposed by global shortages of required testing reagents, the initiative has developed several in-house reagents that make it largely independent from external sources. This is very important at a time when COVID-19 is exposing a high-dependency on diagnostics companies and their proprietary testing kits.
Rapid transfer of knowledge is required by communities and governments to respond to the pandemic. The VCDI freely disseminates its operating procedures, know-how about building pipelines and their latest research findings. The goal is to aid other universities and research institutions to efficiently and productively contribute to the national testing capacity for COVID-19.
The VCDI is coordinated by Alwin Köhler, Scientific Director of the Max Perutz Labs:
“Many labs were shut down in March 2020, the scientists sent home. But more and more came back, building a diagnostics pipeline from scratch. I am proud of the creative energy, ingenuity and scientific excellence of all the basic researchers involved. They stepped up without a moment’s hesitation. The VCDI is now in a unique position in that we offer both large-scale testing capacity as well as basic and translational research to fight the virus.”
The VCDI has received an emergency seed-funding by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWFT).