Anti-COVID-19 Actions at NuPECC Member Institutes

Institute Latest status (follow links to up-to-date info) Links
KVI-CART and University Groningen, The Netherlands Update 15 May 2020 AGOR facility KVI-CART and the University of Groningen Starting May 11, 2020 we are working to bring the AGOR accelerator facility back on-line. Proper functioning of all sub-systems is currenly being tested. We plan to perform full system tests in week 23 and will start experiments of local researchers in week 24. We hope to welcome our first international users again in week 25, pending relaxing of travel constraints. The University of Groningen has eased up restrictions on presence in laboratories. The national guidelines (very small numbers in a closed area, a minimum distance of 1.5 m between people and applying the general health measures) should be strictly followed. This ease of restrictions only applies to research activities and students are still not allowed to enter the buildings of the university. This picture is, more or less the same for all Dutch universities. .
Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany Critical information in brief (as of May 14, 2020) The severely restricted operations will end with the expiry of 20. April 2020. However, restrictions regarding physical contact and essential preventive health measures will remain in place. Those employees able to work, who are either working in system-relevant areas and/or are only able to carry out their duties on site in TUM buildings, will do their work at the university. When working in university buildings, all possible and conceivable preventive measures and hygiene standards are to be taken into consideration TUM employees who are fit for work and whose work does not absolutely require their presence in university buildings are asked to work largely from home in order to avoid unnecessary personal contact in the interests of preventive health protection. The lecture period for summer semester 2020 starts on 20 April and is extended until 07 August 2020. The application deadlines for bachelor’s and master's programs are extended for winter semester 2020/21. Bachelor: presumably until 31 July 2020. Master: until 30 June 2020. Coronavirus – Studies Most courses are offered digitally. Operating hours e.g. for advising services and departmental administrative offices: accessible by email; for telephone make prior arrangements Persons who enter the Free State of Bavaria from a state outside the Federal Republic of Germany from 10 April 2020 onwards are obliged to go directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation immediately after entering the country and to stay there permanently for a period of 14 days after entry (domestic quarantine).. Details
ESFRI Research Centre, GANIL-SPIRAL2, France We hope that you are all doing fine and things are improving in your laboratory with respect to the COVID. France is presently proceeding with its "deconfinement" and GANIL is following the national strategy. Presently only 20% of the staff are allowed to work on site. Based on governmental decision, we plan to increase the number of staff members gradually on site by end of July to 60% but a fully normal situation is not expected before September. The local technical staff are focused on projects which are critical to the restart the GANIL accelerators. The priority is being given for restarting of the LINAC aiming for around the middle of July. Depending on the progress of the LINAC characterization, first tests of the neutron convertors at NFS are foreseen after summer. The latter is also related to the large number of experiments proposed at NFS for the next PAC (that will be held as scheduled on September the 24-25th 2020). As already announced, the experimental campaigns using the cyclotrons will be able to start early in 2021. GANIL will make all the effort to maximize the scientific program using the cyclotrons, especially after the difficult period for the experimental schedule in 2020. Due to the large uncertainties about the evolution of the present situation, the Ganil Community Meeting GCM 2020 has been postponed to a later date. We will keep you updated of the situation at GANIL before the summer vacation in July, hopefully with light at the end of the tunnel. Details for personnel and regarding continuity of research
GSI/FAIR, Germany As a preventive measure regarding the coronavirus, public events at GSI and FAIR are cancelled until further notice. For this reason, for example, the lectures of the series "Wissenschaft für Alle" are suspended until further notice, and the Girls' Day on Thursday, 26 March were cancelled. Public guided tours on the campus are also currently not offered. Furthermore, the festive event for GSI's 50th anniversary planned on 30 April 2020 at the Science and Congress Center darmstadtium is cancelled.
The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung is looking for innovative research strategies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biophysics Department is planning to inactivate virus by heavy ions to develop a vaccine in collaboration with the Helmholtz Institute for Infection research (HZI). They will also study low-dose radiation against pneumonia. The Materials Research Department is working on membranes with nanopores for virus detection and protective masks.
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iThemba Labs, Capetown, South Africa Details
Universität Basel, Switzerland The situation at Basel University is that we are basically closed down. Our lecture term started end of February, but since second week or so of March no presence of students is allowed anymore. Lectures only via video. Labs are almost closed, there is only emergency running. The institute is closed. Persons who have an office on their own are allowed to come in but are discouraged to do so. For all other offices and Labs we have kind of calendar where people can sign in when they have important things to do but all on the basis that there is not more than one person in one office at a time.
Hungary The situation in Hungary and especially at the Wigner Institute (Atomki should be similar) is that we are basically closed down. There are few people who had some duties, responsible for example for the computer systems come to work for the rest is home office. Anybody except those above should report if they want to go to do something there. Above 60 you need the permisson of the director to enter the institute. The secretary is working.
ISOLDE/CERN, Switzerland We are all teleworking at ISOLDE. There are currently no activities on-site (except for occasional maintenance, e.g. filling LHe or LN2 in the experimental set-ups). All start-up activities at ISOLDE, which were planned as of this spring, have been postponed. Details
Nuclear Physics Institute of CAS and Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic The institute is not fully closed, but home office is preferred. The emergency running and important activities (some productions of radionuclides and irradiations on accelerators) are possible. Successful production and transport of radioactive source for KATRIN experiment to Germany was possible for example this news article. We also prepare to use the beam of our Microtron MT-25 for sterilization. We have also other activities to help efforts against epidemic and also to prepare popularising videos about science for schoolchildren (Programme of Czech Academy of Sciences). The situation at the Czech Technical University is that faculties are basically closed down. Lectures are possible since second week of March only via video. Home office is preferred. Labs are mostly closed, there is mostly emergency running and work on projects connected with COVID-19 epidemic. Details
University of Jyväskylä Accelerator Laboratory (JYFL-ACCLAB), Finland Following the first suspected case of a coronavirus infection at the University of Jyväskylä, the whole of the University was moved to remote working where possible on 14th March. The government of Finland declared a state of emergency on 16th March. Under the Emergency Powers Act the premises of schools and higher education institutes are closed down, and only critical work and research is allowed to be carried out. All teaching is given remotely. At the Accelerator Laboratory, only staff from the mechanical and electrical workshops and some of the accelerator group technical staff are on site, working on minor maintenance tasks. No visitors from abroad will be allowed into the University premises until the end of July. For the time being, all experiments using the accelerators have been cancelled. Details
University of Groningen and KVI-CART, The Netherlands Teaching@university: No "physical" teaching activities are allowed, including lab courses as well as supervision for BSc and MSc thesis projects involving laboratory work, in the whole university until the end of the academic year. Research@university: All university buildings are essentially closed until at least 28 April, so no experimental research is allowed except for critical processes (such as care for lab animals, etc.). The government will come with an update on the policy before 28 April. The AGOR cyclotron has been put in "deep" standby mode; in the most optimistic scenario operation will be resumed around 18 May. Details
Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN), Kraków, Poland February 26th, 2020 - order of the Director General suspending all foreign business travels of IFJ PAN employees and Ph.D. student, as well as all arrivals of the collaborators from outside of Poland to the Institute. IFJ PAN employees and Ph.D. students coming back from the business travels as well as from private trips abroad are obliged to be under a two-week quarantine. Beginning of March, 2020: Employees are advised to work remotely from home, if this is possible. Seminars and meeting are conducted via internet. Employees which have to enter IFJ PAN must wear gloves, which are accessible at the gate. March 17th, 2020: The nuclear physics experiments run at the Cyclotron Center Bronowice were suspended. The cyclotron works only for the cancer therapy. It is worth mentioning that so far none of the IFJ PAN employees was infected.
Uppsala University, Sweden In brief, we are encouraged to work from home but are allowed to go work provided that we do not have any symptoms. All teaching and exams are done remotely. Entrance to the premises are only for students and employees with access card. Details
University of Oslo, Norway The University of Oslo was closed on March 13, together with all other universities, schools, and kindergardens in Norway. Employees work from home, and all teaching is done remotely. All buildings are closed and access is only possible with special permission.
The University of Oslo and the Oslo University Hospital are key institutions in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in Norway. There are numerous researchers also outside the medical field who are using their skills to contribute to this effort. To give an example, researchers from the electronics division of the Department of Physics are evaluating possibilities for using a single ventilator on two or even more patients simultaneously. First results can already be found here.
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Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory, Norway The lock-down of the university came during a maintenance period. The machine was shut down completely, and all experiments were cancelled. We expect that the strict access regulations will be eased over the coming weeks. Today, April 14th, we have asked for permission for the cyclotron engineers to enter the laboratory in teams of two to finish the maintenance work and prepare the cyclotron for start-up. We hope to be able to run a reduced experimental program starting in May, where priority will be given to Master and PhD students who are waiting to get data to finish their theses. Access to the laboratory will be strictly regulated, and no external users or visitors will be allowed. Details
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany The lab is in "basic operations mode", which means that scientists are encouraged to work at home; like technicians and administration personnel, we are, however, still able to also work in the lab (restrictions apply, such as avoid face-to-face meetings with more than two persons); the cantine is shut down; external companies are still allowed to perform work in the center - we are not (yet) in "emergency mode" which would basically shut down the center (only operations for the safety of the labs would then be allowed) - all meetings, workshops, conferences for the next months are cancelled; no foreign business trips are approved; no visitors are allowed to the center; we do our day-to-day meetings via video (including lecturing) - COSY is in "maintenance mode"; currently no experiments are performed - research on the COVID-19 pandemic is performed in a number of institutes (e.g. the supercomputing center and structural biology). Details
Universität Bonn, Germany We run in what is a called "Minimalbetrieb" (similar to the basic operations described for Forschungszentrum Jülich). - Lectures are given online in various forms, mostly by taping them and making them available on the university internal websites. Some colleagues also stream their lectures. - Most exams have been suspended. PhD exam are done electronically, with the candidate and the committee connected via some online platform. This, however, is only done in time-critical cases. For other exams, the ministery has just given the universities new rights that allow for online exams. The precise procedures are being worked out.
JINR Dubna, Russia The lab is in "basic operations mode", we are not (yet) in "emergency mode" which would basically shut down the center. All meetings, workshops, conferences for the next months are cancelled; no foreign business trips are approved; no visitors are allowed to the center; we do our day-to-day meetings via video (including lecturing) Details
ECT* Trento, Italy 10 days after the first ECT* workshop on neutrino masses in early February, the Bruno Keesler Foundation and with it ECT* went into a complete lockdown with no access to the Centre for the forseeable future. - In response, ECT* decided to move approved workshops and schools to later dates. So far, three workshops have been deferred to later in the year and four workshops have been moved to 2021. In addition, the planned Doctoral Training Program and the TALENT School, will take place in 2021 As the sitation evolves more workshops will have to be moved. - In the meantime the Bruno Kessler Foundation is working on a “return plan” to gradually reopen its facilities, including ECT* The plan consists of three phases: - Phase 1 will last for about 4-6 weeks and will be implemented fairly soon (probably in May). In this first phase, ECT* essentially remains in a lockdown. It is intended to start a remote seminar program on ECT* research topics, actively involving the local junior postdocs. The seminars might be broadcasted to a larger audience eventually. - Phase 2 will probably start at the beginning of June and will last for about 6-8 weeks. In this phase, 30-50% of the research and administrative staff will be allowed to go back to their offices at ECT*, but there will still be no access for external users. The aim for the second phase is to restart the scientific programs of ECT* with keynote “pre-workshop” presentations and a remote two-week TALENT course on “Machine learning”. - Phase 3 will probably start in early fall, provided the general situation permits it. For ECT* the aim is to slowly restart the normal workshop program with a (more or less) equal number of participants physically present and the others joining remotely.
Stefan Meyer Institute, Austria The Austrian Academy of Sciences has closed all institutes as of 17 Mar 2020, everybody is supposed to work in home office. This status is still valid, in general in Austria restrictions of leaving home are extended until end of April although the first (small) shops have reopened on 14 Apr 2020 under strong safety measures (restriction of number and distance between persons, usage of masks). From week 17 SMI plans to slowly resume operation of labs and workshop in a limited manner: only 2 persons are permitted at the same time to work in the institute in different labs, if in exceptional cases two persons need to work in one room they have to use protective clothing. Universities are also closed, teaching is done remotely, exams up to Master and PhD defences take place by video.
Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark The University of Copenhagen is under lockdown until 10 May, since 13. March. Teaching has migrated to remote mode without too many problems. Written exams have been converted to ’take-home’ exams, submitted and graded digitally. Ph.D defenses take place by teleconferencing. The main problems are, of course, connected with experimental activities and experimental teaching. This is presently at a stand still. In Denmark, middle school exams have been cancelled this year and the grade taken over from the yearly marks. Finishing high-school exams will take place via digital exam and teleconferencing.
Nuclear Research Centre SCK CEN, Belgium At SCK CEN, at top-management level, a crisis management cell has been established; this cell evaluates the external evolution and defines internal measures to mitigate the impact on the research centre as a whole and the operation of the critical facilities in the research centre, of which the BR2 reactor is one. Medical and safety departments are represented in the crisis committee, as well as top management. In this way, the crisis committee can immediately dispose of the internal resources for medical and safety related interventions. The crisis committee meets daily in order to evaluate the evolution of the situation internally and externally. E-mail messaging and general video conferencing are used to inform staff and organize Q&A sessions across the organization periodically. For SCK CEN personnel that works remotely, daily contact is maintained in virtual meetings and weekly goals are defined for telecommuting work. Details
Heavy Ion Laboratory, University of Warsaw, Poland From 18th of March the experimental activity is suspended and all the facilities are in a standby mode. Access to the laboratory is strictly controlled. The only working units are: medical company Warsaw Genomics, located at HIL and involved in diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and Radiopharmaceutical Production and Research Centre. Most of our staff is working remotely, untill 26th of April (with a possibility of extension). Visitors are not allowed at the premises of the University till the end of June. Business travels, including participation in conferences are suspended till the end of June, too. Open events organized at the University, like conferences, open lectures etc. are suspended till the 31th of August. Traditional nuclear physics seminar is conducted via internet. Details
Weizmann Institute, Israel It is more than a month now that we are practically under lockdown. Scientific staff is allowed on campus after providing a daily self health-declaration. This occurs seldomly. Most activities, teaching, seminars, committee meetings are held on-line. Only essential personnel is allowed on the premises. Strict lockdown was imposed during the Passover holidays and will probably be imposed again for the Independence day celebrations in a couple of weeks. Discussions are ongoing considering gradual relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, starting as early as next week.
INFN Italy As a consequence of the health risk associated with the new Coronavirus COVID-19 infection, on January 31, 2020, the Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency, for a period of six months, and in consultation with the competent authorities and institutions, adopting measures for the prevention and containment of contagion. - All of us, as a community and individually, have a responsibility to contribute to the prevention, containment and contrast of the spread of COVID-19. - To participate in the collective commitment and collaborate in the protection of public health and of individual citizens, INFN is monitoring the situation and drawing up specific indications for INFN structures, updating them on the basis of government measures, so as to encourage the adoption of measures and shared and coordinated behaviors within the INFN community. - In general, we invite you to follow the hygienic-sanitary prevention measures and to follow the indications contained in the measures taken by the Government, in compliance with the law and personal and public health. In particular, we invite you to follow the indications provided by the Director of your structure on the basis of the circulars of the INFN Presidency. - A crisis committee has been set up to coordinate the emergency management COVID-19 in the INFN area, and to assist and support the managers of the structures, who in case of requests or needs can write to emergenzacovid19 @ lists. infn.it. - The COVIDSTAT INFN Working Group was promoted to make available to the COVID-19 crisis committee within the INFN a statistical analysis of the data provided every day by the Civil Protection on the spread of the pandemic in Italy. The results of these analyzes, updated daily, are available on the project page covid19.infn.it - The “Together at a Distance initiative” was promoted. To continue to feel like a community, in which everyone can participate. By joining the Together @ Distance Team, there is a general chat for dialogue, to which everyone can contribute with their own posts, proposals, comments, answers, suggestions and discussion points, in the spirit of Together @ Distance which is to keep the community alive INFN by sharing positive socialization experiences. In the notebook, on the other hand, socialization initiatives promoted in one's own structure, but also proposals for new initiatives to be organized together can be published and shared. - The INFN LNS in Catania has set up a laboratory for assessing the technical specifications of the fabrics used by industry in manufacturing the face masks for protection against the COVID-19. Moreover, several INFN units are contributing to the design of a very cost-effective mechanical ventilator for treating people affected by COVID-19. Details
NCSR Demokritos, Athens, Greece The National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" (NCSR Demokritos), in line with the ongoing effort of the whole Greek scientific community, is campaigning with the Ministry of Health and the state structures in dealing with COVID-19. With a sense of responsibility, “Demokritos” makes available to the country’s health authorities its facilities and scientific knowledge with the aim of dealing more effectively with the pandemic. More specifically, its actions include: 1. Detection of virus: Disposal of infrastructure and development of appropriate methodologies for conducting analyses for the detection of the virus in biological fluids, so that they can contribute to the control of the spread of the virus. 2. Antibody Detection - Quality of Immunity Measurement: Development of Biosensors for the rapid detection of antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in blood samples in collaboration with ThetaMetrisis (spin-off company of NCSR Demokritos). Having already developed and patented technological optical sensor platforms for critical inflammatory markers directly related to the progression of COVID-19 disease, it has begun evaluating these sensors for rapid, accurate and concomitant determination of IgG/IgM antibodies in CoV-2-patients' serum. After evaluating the sensors in the pre-clinical and clinical stage, they will be able to be standardized in a short time and meet the needs of the country. 3. Development and production of innovative KIT diagnostics for the qualitative measurement of the immunity of the population by a company of the Technology Park Lefkipos, located at the campus of “Demokritos” in collaboration with Demokritos’ research laboratories. The main competitive advantage of KIT, which is in the final stages of the production process, is the parallel measurement of many immune parameters, which means less false positive results. Patient samples are expected for the final quality evaluation of the KIT and submission of the file to the National Drug Organization. Upon completion of the clinical results, KITs will be available at accredited Centers in Greece that will be able to measure the immunity of the population. 4. New Experimental Treatments: Participation in the interdisciplinary team of researchers, immunologists and clinical experts from the USA, Italy, Germany who has undertaken the design of a clinical study to test new experimental treatment in COVID-19 patients. The study is co-ordinated by the Greek pharmaceutical startup Amyntas Pharmaceuticals and will assess whether the targeted suspension of the supplement, a key system of natural immunity, can reduce the uncontrollable inflammation that contributes to acute COPD-19 deficiency in patients. 5. Research Actions: a) Research on the study of how to produce antigenic peptides from proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, based on prior know-how on the mechanisms used by the immune system to recognize infected cells. This action aims to discover important aspects of the body's defense mechanism against SARS-CoV-2 as well as new ideas on how to enhance it. b) Design and development of SARS-CoV-2 protein inhibitors in order to prevent the reproduction of the virus. c) Participation in the epidemiological study that begins for the mapping of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and the genetic analysis of patients. The study, which will be carried out by a consortium of research laboratories, will create important databases which, in conjunction with the relevant international ones, will be the springboard for innovative computational studies using Artificial Intelligence. NCSR Demokritos will be responsible for the development of the data management and analytics system. 6. Digital Applications a) Implementation of a research project (BioASQ), which organizes international competitions for systems for the retrieval of biomedical information and automatic answering of relevant scientific questions from databases. In order to promote scientific research on COVID-19 disease, we are creating a competition in the framework of the project, which will use BioASQ's Artificial Intelligence computing tools to answer scientific questions about coronavirus. Through this process we aim to facilitate the gradual understanding of COVID-19 disease and to contribute to the discovery of new solutions. b) Utilization of the Social Web Observatory of NCSR Demokritos for the study and analysis by researchers of the social sciences of disseminating information about COVID-19 in the social network (social media and news). The results of the analysis will be made public, in order to assess the impact of the restrictive measures in real time and to support the project of political planning. 7. Materials for Protective Equipment: Availability of a high-resolution infrastructure for measuring and recording the size and concentration of aerosol particles. This unit has been tested and can provide results for the characterization of translucent materials (masks) with adequate human respiration in terms of the ability to infiltrate micro and nanoparticles that potentially carry SARS-CVV-2. Measurements have already been made in common materials for performance that are comparable to masks of known specifications (N95, FFP, etc.).

This page was last updated on April 20, 2020. Please note however, that some of the individual status reports may be already out-of-date. Please follow links for the most up-to-date info.