The European Commission has adopted a number of countermeasures to the current health crisis in order to strengthen a response of the Research and Innovation area. Such actions have included so far:

• launching, in late January 2020, a special €48.5 million funding for projects advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response (18 projects already selected and started);

• modifying the focus of some funding lines (e.g. EIC Accelerator, March 2020 cut-off date, adapted to fund innovation related to Covid-19);

• extending submission deadlines for various schemes (a list of adjusted dates available here);

• steering the creation and management process of initiatives and funding schemes, designed to contribute to counter the virus and its effects, “addressing epidemiology, preparedness and response to outbreaks, the development of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, as well as the infrastructures and resources that enable this research”.

The spectrum of newly created tools is broad and include actions designed autonomously by the Commission (e.g. An “EUvsVirus Hackathon” to be held on 24-25-26 April and dedicated to innovators from all sector called to develop new solutions), led by ongoing EU-funded projects (e.g. calls for proposals contributing to counter Coronavirus using 3D-Printing technology ) or by external platforms (e.g the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, hosting various sectoral initiatives).

The landscape of the European response to the virus in the R&I area is fluid and it is highly likely to see additional initiatives in the near future, namely with strategic funding dedicated to innovative companies. The Commission also published on 7th April a first “ERAvsCORONA” Action Plan, identifying the priorities and short-term coordinated Research & Innovation actions in the management of the crisis.

The paper also includes a hint of an upcoming “Coronavirus European Innovation Council Platform” for matchmaking services for start-ups and SMEs to “exchange ideas on coronavirus innovations and connect with investors, public procurers, corporations and others”.

Leyton will stay ahead of the arising initiatives and opportunities for innovation actors in the health and related sector. Please get in touch with our specialists of the EU Affairs team for any support in navigating this evolving landscape.

Are you working on a project which benefits the environment or the climate?

It might be eligible for a subsidy under the LIFE programme.

LIFE has a total budget of EUR 3.4 billion from 2014 to 2020.

Companies, public organisations and NGOs can receive alluring grants for demonstration and pilot projects.

LIFE is divided into two sub-programmes: LIFE Environment and LIFE Climate Action. If you want to know whether or not your project is eligible for LIFE, our specialists are happy to help.

Even though single applicants are allowed, LIFE projects generally are executed by a partnership. The programme puts emphasis on replicability/transferability, long-term sustainability, and an EU added value of the project results.

LIFE is not focused on research. For traditional LIFE projects there are no specifications for project budgets. LIFE has co-funded large ambitious projects with total costs of more than EUR 5 million several times in the past. However, proposals for small projects with total costs below EUR 500,000 have rarely been selected in the evaluation due to the limited output and consequently a low added value.

LIFE Environment

With 75% of the budget, LIFE Environment is the bigger of the two sub-programmes. It focuses on the following areas

Projects can take the following form:

LIFE Environment uses a two-stage application procedure. The first stage is a concept note, i.e. an outline of the proposal (max. 10 pages). Only if this is approved, a full proposal can be prepared and submitted (stage 2). This means that the concept note needs to be concise and convincing, as only the best concept notes are accepted to stage 2.

For the full proposal, it is important to take heed of the feedback received based on the concept note.

Timeline – LIFE Environment

2 April 2020: Call open
Mid-June 2020 : Submission of concept notes
October 2020:Pre-selection of concept notes invited to submit full proposals
February 2021 : Submission of full proposals
June 2021 :Information about results
September 2021 :Start of the projects

Below is a short summary of how our international teams are supporting both innovative businesses and the critically important efforts of those on the frontline and in the research field during the ongoing fight against COVID:


Leyton UK is supporting the inspiring work of the country’s health service by donating 1% of all fees collected by the company in April, May and June to the NHS

The UK is also offering a free comprehensive R&D tax service to companies that are repurposing to assist the COVID effort. This advice will help businesses to facilitate crucial cash flow, reclaim against costs such as staffing and consumables, and benefit from the full tax relief they are eligible to receive.

Our associated specialist employment law firm,LexLeyton, has been offering free consultations to businesses needing advice around key topics such as working from home policies, sick pay, risk mitigation and recovery planning. They also created a comprehensive Coronavirus FAQs for Employers hub, covering a huge range of COVID related employment issues.


Leyton France are donating 1% of all fees collected by the company between 20 April and 20 May to the Institut Pasteur, a non-profit French foundation dedicated to the study of biology, microorganisms, diseases and vaccines. The institute is currently working on developing a vaccine for COVID mobilizing all researchers in Paris and in the 32 institutes around the world.


Leyton Spain are donating 1% of all fees collected in April to CSIC, the Spanish State Agency for scientific research and technological development, to help combat COVID.


Leyton Benelux are donating 3500€ to VIB, a leading life sciences research institute whose labs are carrying out important research on COVID. Further initiatives will be announced shortly. Another 3500€ were donated to the Fund for Supportive Care of the King Baudouin Foundation, a fund for all hospitals and other residential care institutions for elderly, youth welfare, people with a disability etc. The aim of this fund is to support these institutions after the corona crisis (or when the crisis is under control) by setting up a more sustainable care, i.e. helping healthcare personnel to cope with this crisis, implementing lessons learned etc., in order to maintain their high quality of care.



The Italian Government recently launched the ‘Italia Start-Up’ website, which has been collecting 50 start-ups and SMEs that present solutions or services to help fight the COVID crisis. Leyton Italy is offering these innovative businesses free, in-depth R&D consultancy, investigating the feasibility of their projects, reviewing, modifying and potentially improving them, and helping the businesses with their cash flow challenges.

Italia Start UP


Leyton Canada is offering free in-depth SR&ED tax and funding advice and support to businesses helping to combat COVID, to ensure they secure the maximum tax relief possible and a faster recovery to improve cash flow.