Be The Change: Bulgari Announces A Virus Free Fund To Support Medical Research I

Be The Change: Bulgari Announces A Virus Free Fund To Support Medical Research Into COVID-19

Following Bulgari’s initiative to temporarily switch its production of perfume to hand-sanitizing gel, the luxury brand is now further increasing its commitment to fight COVID-19 with the new Bulgari Virus Free Fund.

By Sophie Furley

Bulgari is expanding its corporate commitment to social responsibility by financially supporting world-leading institutions in their research against different types of viruses, in particular COVID-19. Today the WHO recorded 183,000 new cases in only 24 hours, the highest one-day rise since the beginning of the outbreak, making the development of a vaccine a global priority.

What Will The Bulgari Virus Free Fund Do?

The Bulgari Virus Free Fund will support two major institutes. First, Oxford University’s Jenner Institution, which brings together researchers who specialize in the development of vaccines.

Second is the Research Department at Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. There, Bulgari has donated and seen to the installation of a 3D microscope, enabling hospital researchers to carry out experimental COVID-19 research protocols. This new instrument, the first 3D microscope to be installed in the city of Rome, can accurately identify microscopic cell structures even on three-dimensional biological samples and to follow their growth and interaction with other microorganisms over time. It is considered one of the best tools for studying the coronavirus infections on a cellular level.

Bulgari And Oxford University

To support the important work of Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, the Bulgari Virus Free Fund has also donated a flow cytometer – a €100,000 high-tech instrument that measures the physical and chemical characteristics of cells and is routinely used in research and clinical trials – and is creating two scholarships to help support scientists pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology.

The aim of the scholarships is to financially support graduate students and postdoctoral scholars working on COVID-19 research. The luxury brand will also create a Bulgari Clinical Fund, especially for the development and clinical testing of new therapies, drugs, and vaccines to fight COVID-19 and related coronavirus strains.

“For us to continue to make world-leading advances against infectious diseases we need more excellent young scientists to join the field of vaccinology, and have access to the most up to date equipment in our laboratories,” explained Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, during the webinar launch of the fund. “This generous gift from Bulgari addresses both of these needs and will continue to have an impact for many years to come.”

How Quickly Will A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Available?

During the webinar announcement, Professor Gilbert shared that the University of Oxford is hopeful that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the fall, as its researchers are accelerating development given the critical nature of the current situation. While the world is anxiously waiting for a cure, Bulgari’s contribution to the global community shows how luxury brands can also use their power and influence to create change.

“Over the past few months, we have witnessed the shocking and detrimental effects of COVID-19 on every aspect of our society throughout the world,” noted Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of Bulgari. “We can never let this happen again. Bulgari vows not only to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 but also to work with the global leaders in Medical Sciences at Oxford University, to nurture the most talented minds of tomorrow. I am honored and proud to have the opportunity to support Oxford University in this common goal of eradicating viruses and stopping future pandemics in their tracks.”

Social Activism Is A Positive Outcome Of The Coronavirus Crisis

Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at the management consulting firm Bain and Company, was also in attendance at the launch of the Bulgari Virus Free Fund. Sharing highlights from a recent Sustainability in Fashion & Luxury report – a topic that we will discuss in a future article – D’Arpizio shared how the leaders of tomorrow will be defined today by the support they receive and the capacity for positive impact large corporations evince during difficult times.


In the meantime, all of us at Watchonista tip our hats to Bulgari for taking this important and generous step to speed up the arrival of a vaccine for COVID-19.

(Images provided by Bvlgari)

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