In the face of great adversity, often some of the best ideas are born. Countries worldwide have had to come up with new ways to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, and with citizens forced to self-isolate, innovators look to tech to tackle some of the greatest problems caused by the virus. At PUBLIC we have never been more certain of the value of technology in making a real difference to people’s lives – here are some of the ways countries across the globe are using tech to tackle Coronavirus.
- GovTech Polska – Poland
In just 72 hours Poland’s largest online hackathon was organised, dedicated to tackling COVID-19. Over 1500 participants from 11 time zones collaborated on the execution of anticrisis ideas to help people handle the pandemic aftermath. GovTech Polska defined three main areas that might be challenging: isolation, facts & data and education. The 10 winners included solutions such as an epidemic app, SMS shopping for a senior, detecting COVID-19 with x-rays and deep learning and connecting overworked parents with underworked teachers.
2. Hack the Crisis – Lithuania
Similarly, ‘Hack the Crisis’, a virtual hackathon organised by volunteers from the Lithuanian government, corporates and startup community took place last week. Click here to find out more.
3. Defence Innovation Agency – France
This call for projects from the Ministry of the Armed Forces, launched by the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), as part of the government’s plan to fight COVID-19, aims to have proposals to fight against the COVID pandemic -19. It relates to the search for innovative solutions, whether technological, organisational, managerial or industrial. THE Defence Innovation Agency is looking for solutions which could be directly mobilised in order to: protect the population, support patient care, test the population, monitor the evolution of the disease at the individual level and the evolution of the pandemic, or help to limit constraints during the crisis period. A budget of €10,000,000 including tax is planned for this call for projects, which aims to finance one or more projects of interest.
Companies have until the 12th April to apply and can find out more on their website – here.
4. TechForce19 – UK
Recently NHSX launched TechForce19 – a tech challenge to combat the effects of social isolation. In particular, they are looking for new technologies to help support the vulnerable, elderly and self isolating within these areas:
Remote Social Care
- Finding healthy and qualified carers who can provide support for those in need
- Managing and delivering care in care homes
- Delivering domiciliary care and technology in the home
Optimising Staffing in Care and Volunteering Sectors
- Recruiting, training and certifying of doctors and nurses and professional carers
- Volunteering – recruiting and triaging volunteers into clinical and non-clinical workers
- Projecting demand for health and care workers across the country to improve deployment and management of resources
- Tackling data gaps in the care sector to understand the financial sustainability and needs of care businesses
- Discovering and delivering mental health services
- Accessing relevant and inclusive peer 2 peer communities
- Supporting self-management of mental health and well-being
- Facilitating employee well-being
The selected companies will receive government funding of up to £25,000 to develop or test their COVID19 solution. Following the testing period, NHSX and Partners will consider the best route for further development in order for them to best benefit people during the COVID19 emergency.
5. Covid-19 Solution Challenge – India
The Government of India is calling on startups who have developed technologies and innovative solutions that can be leveraged for strengthening the fight against Coronavirus. Bioinformatics, datasets and apps for diagnosis are among suggested solutions that would help the government tackle the virus.
Submitted solutions will be evaluated for adoption and those selected will be suitably rewarded. The challenge was launched on 16th of March and startups have until the end of the month to apply.
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