IST community launches AVID idea platform

AVID (Anti Viral IDeas) is a platform to help the IST community to work on new solutions addressing the corona crisis. Everybody at IST can suggest challenges, post ideas, and register as teammates. We will try to support the ideas where we can by running the platform, providing feedback, connecting teams with experts and organizing funds where necessary.


AVID (Anti Viral IDeas) is a platform to help the IST community to work on new solutions addressing the corona crisis. Everybody at IST can suggest challenges, post ideas, and register as teammates.Challenges and ideas can comprise

  • Emergency Measures addressing currently pressing needs;
  • solutions related to the extraordinary “New Normal” situation over the next months;
  • ideas addressing the situation in Less Developed Countries which will be hit even harder;
  • ideas on Prevention or Alleviation of such crises in future

Emergency measures for instance could include topics such as statistics/ideas related to epidemiological modelling, genomic modelling, diagnostics/ideas relating to tests, validations, emergency medical or lab equipment, any ideas to protect the vulnerable constituencies, maybe in particular the communities around us etc.

“New Normal” ideas could address issues that will arise once the campus will become operational again, ranging from smart hygiene to the daily commute, from new ways of doing science to ideas to further develop our social cohesion.

Clearly, this effort is not limited to biology and medicine, but obviously caters for ideas from math, computing, physics, materials, any area really.

Current Projects

Emergency Ventilator
Improving the design of the open source ventilator developed by MIT.

Modelling Epidemics
Epidemic modelling for better decision making

A collective diary throughout the pandemic.

Power-law growth and pandemic progression
Differences in power-law growth over time and indicators of COVID-19 pandemic progression worldwide

Establish and develop analytical assays to detect the immune response following an infection by the novel coronavirus.

IST-works-council weekly “let’s stay in touch” meetings
reintroduce serendipity moments of communication with a zoom meeting every Wednesday at 4:30 pm to meet people.

Cryptography in corona contact tracing apps
Contribute to the development and safe implementation of cryptographic methods in corona contact tracing apps (DP-3T).

Project Ideas looking for team members

Improvement of Sampling in Populations with Low Infections
Reducing the number of samples required to generate accurate infection rate estimation.

Allocation of Hospitality Resources to Families in Need
Provide hospitality resources to families with children with neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopment disorders, so parents can take take breaks.

Information Platform to Tackle Infectious Diseases
Privacy-aware health platform that offers guidance to patients and provides data on outbreaks to health authorities.

Refined Spatial analysis of Mobile Location Data to Assess Infection Chains
Employ geospatial analysis of anonymised mobile location data to assess impact of direct contact on infection likelihood.

Translucent Face Masks to Enable Lip Reading
Design and provide masks from a transparent or and breathable material, that would allow people who rely on lip reading to communicate with others.

Mode of participation

The platform is intended to operate as an idea/challenge sharing and team formation tool. We are not suggesting a “contest” with “winners”. For discussion, we will use IST Chat.

The way it works is:

  1. Sign in with your IST credentials. If you are not affiliated with IST please get in touch with
  2. Please join the #avid channel (press “Join” button on the lower right) to discuss and post your ideas.
  3. Once new ideas have formed to projects with a team, please spin out your discussion into a new (public) channel, following the naming convention #avid-[project_name]. The very first post in every new channel should contain:
    1. What is the project about?
    2. What problem does it address?
    3. Which skills/support do I need?
    4. Who am I / who are we?
Suggesting an Idea

Everybody who is suggesting an idea/challenge should answer the following questions in a post to the chat:

  • What is the idea?
  • What problem does it address?
  • Which skills/support do I need?
  • Who am I / who are we?

To inquire about funding opportunities please reach out to:

External Projects and Initiatives

Maker vs Virus
Designing hard-to-find protective equipment or spare parts for makers and makerspaces.

Drive-in Corona test stations (German only)
57.000 Corona-Testungen pro tag dank drive-in Lösung.

Vienna Researches Corona
The WWTF funds data collection: WWTF COVID-19 Rapid Response Call

COVID-19 Data Portal
Accelerating research through data sharing

European Cluster Collaboration Plattform
Connect! Solve! Save!


Please refer to the frequently asked questions for further details.


In case of questions, please get in touch with the TWIST team at