OIS Research Enrichment Fund

A Covid-19 support measure

  • Call deadline: call is closed
  • Funding: € 20.000 – max. € 80.000
  • Assessment period: Rapid Response within one week 
  • Decision: 10.04.2020
  • Projects end: 30.09.2020


The OIS Research Enrichment Fund supported activities by Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes that address challenges arising from the current “Corona crisis” and that will thus contribute to increasing the impact of their work. We offered support for applying Open Innovation in Science in its widest sense.

The call was designed as a rapid response to the „corona crisis“.


  • application by the Head of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
  • One application per LBI
  • 3 pages explaining the planned activity in terms of the applied Open Innovation approach, i.e.,

* how and for the purpose of what external knowledge sources (e.g., from users, patients, companies, researchers from other disciplines, public organizations or the wider public) are engaged, or

* how and for the purpose of what internal knowledge sources are externally leveraged to address the current “Corona” crisis.

* the way this activity can enhance the research and the impact of the LBI,

*the requested funding and its use within this activity.


Non-comprehensive list:

  • Hackathons on existing data/resources to engage externals in collaborative problemsolving or application finding
  • (Gamified) crowdsourcing of inputs to the research process (e.g., data, problems and research questions)
  • Other types of online platforms to foster interaction between academia and society
  • (Virtual) co-creation and co-implementation of new research projects together with externals partners (e.g., patients, companies, the wider public, researchers from other disciplines)
  • Other innovative ways of (virtual) involvement of external stakeholders (e.g., patients, companies, the wider public) in research


  • Technical Equipment, Software, materials, etc.
  • Subcontracting
  • Service Contract
  • No personnel costs

Projects funded by the OIS Research Enrichment Fund

  • Open research behind closed doors: Assessing the impact of Covid-19 measures on persons deprived of liberty with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities

    The Coronavirus pandemic has an immense impact on the lives of millions of individuals; equally and especially on persons in detention facilities. Persons deprived of liberty with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities are in a particularly vulnerable situation since they are overrepresented in prisons and ‘disproportionately impacted due to attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers that are reproduced in the Covid-19 response’ as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledged.


    With this project, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) in cooperation with partners from Austria, Italy and Germany aims to assess the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic by persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, who are detained as a result of their criminal behaviour and/or as a result of exemption of criminal responsibility due to their disability. More specifically, the project will identify paths for future research on the challenges of pandemics in closed institutions, develop recommendations on how the situation of persons deprived of liberty with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in times of a pandemic can be improved, while simultaneously raising awareness on the topic.

    To achieve these goals, the project will apply open innovation in science methods. This will enable an early and structured involvement of persons deprived of liberty with psychosocial disabilities, their relatives and experts closely working with them (e. g. lawyers, representatives of extramural care facilities and so on), who will be actively participating in the conceptualisation of the project, the identification of challenges as well as of pathways for future research at various stages of the project. Moreover, the project is carried out by organisations with longstanding, some representing the interests of persons who are deprived of their liberty and of their relatives. With their active involvement through co-developing and co-designing the project the effective engagement and empowerment of persons with lived experience will be strengthened.

    Partner organisations: 

    Selbst- und Interessenvertretung zum Maßnahmenvollzug (Austria), Fachhochschule Dortmund (Germany), Antigone (Italy)

  • PATIO – Empowering a Vulnerable Societal Group During the Corona Crisis

    SARS-CoV-2 affects society as a whole – people with prostate cancer (PCa), however, find themselves in a particularly challenging situation: the continuous exchange with caregivers and other people experiencing similar conditions is severely limited. Despite the fact that this is crucial for re-gaining and maintaining one’s well-being.

    The project „PATient Involvement in Oncology“ (PATIO) was originally initiated within the “Lab for Open Innovation in Science” (LOIS II) program. Supported by the LBG OIS Center, the project team collaborates closely with the support group for prostate cancer affected people in Austria (Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs). Together, the team established a dialog with those affected and started to make their voices heard in research, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, (prostate) cancer patients were found to be severely affected by the novel disease. It was observed that especially older cancer patients and patients with a cancer history have an additional risk for a poorer outcome of the infection.

    More than ever, we are concerned with the following questions: What is currently most challenging for patients and their caregivers? What solutions did they come up with that have a positive impact on their quality of life? Together with and for people belonging to the frequently mentioned „vulnerable group“, the project contributed to create a tool for bundling their needs and lived experience. During social isolation, it is even more important to empower these persons affected by PCa in two ways: valuing their expertise and supporting the exchange of experiences. For this purpose, a (technical) communication solution is co-developed together with ten patients and caregivers who assume their roles as co-researchers.

    PATIO aims to create an information and support platform and simultaneously a unique direct link to dedicated research – a medium adding to personalized medicine 2.0. Gathered challenges, needs and individual solutions of those affected are made accessible to the general public and to the research community in order to rapidly close research gaps.

    Project team: Together with linguist and (digital) humanities expert Amelie Dorn, Markus Mitterhauser, Sanja Moldovan and Marie Niederleithinger as well as Ekkehard Büchler, patient advocate and according to his own statement, „bedrock of the prostate cancer community in Austria and Europe“, form the PATIO core team.

    Institute: The research focus of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Applied Diagnostics is to develop minimally invasive, personalised diagnostic methods for prostate and colon cancer. Consortium partners of the Institute are the Medical University of Vienna, the University of Vienna, IASON GmbH, Molecular Diagnostics Group, Charles River, and ORANO SA.

  • Co-production of home-based digital support for cardiac patients to continue with rehabilitation during Covid-19 social isolation restrictions

    The corona crisis has led to severe disruption of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation services. Patients with cardiovascular disease have been forced to rely largely on self-directed rehabilitation exercise training in their daily lives – a daily life of unprecedented self-isolation.

    In this project, we sought to alleviate this exceptional situation by providing digital resources, thereby supporting patients in continuing the cardiac rehabilitation they have started at home. Using Open Innovation in Science methods (co-production, co-design, and community building), we tested, adapted, and evaluated digital resources together with patients, experts, and scientists from the University Institute for Sports Medicine in Salzburg.

    Through this project, we were able to develop support for patients during this difficult time, using digital technologies for the rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, we were able to draw important learning and knowledge gains from this project, which will directly benefit the LBG Digital Health and Prevention Institute’s overall research programme going forward.

    Team: Stefan Tino Kulnik, Josef Niebauer, Andreas Egger, Rada Hussein, Bernhard Reich, Mahdi Sareban, Andreas Stainer-Hochgatterer, Thomas Stütz.