The actions of the CW membership in working collaboratively to tackle coronavirus reflects the spirit of the wider global business community. Below you can find some examples of what CW members are doing to support the world through this time of crisis. If your company has initiatives designed to mitigate the spread and impact of coronavirus, let us know! We'd love to help you share what you are up to!
Last updated: 17 April 2020
The media is reporting on the story that TTP has partnered with air-flow experts Dyson to design a new ventilator to help the NHS support the coronavirus patient volumes it is expecting. Their planning to create 15,000 new machines once regulatory approval is obtained, 10,000 of which will go to the NHS and 5,000 of which will be donated to other countries.
Sir James Dyson is quoted as saying:
“I am proud of what Dyson engineers and our partners at TTP have achieved...The device is designed to achieve a high quality air supply to ensure its safety and effectiveness, drawing on our air purifier expertise which delivers high-quality filtration in high-volume products."
AstraZeneca is engaging with international health authorities and governments in response to the outbreak. They have provided their science and technology expertise to authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Based on their experience in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, they have rapidly mobilised research efforts to discovering novel coronavirus-neutralising antibodies as a treatment to prevent COVID-19 disease. Their teams are now focused on identifying monoclonal antibodies to progress into clinical trial evaluation.
PA Consulting are coordinating the combined efforts of the more than 60 UK manufacturers such as Vauxhall and Airbus who are planning to 3D-print parts for ventilators to treat coronavirus patients. Their goal is to help produce 20,000 ventilators in as little as two weeks. Within this consortium is another CW Member, McLaren Applied Technologies. As an F1 team the company is well-suited to the rapid design and manufacture of high value products.
CW & Members
CW rallied several members to join an initiative led by 8West and various departments at University College Cork. This project has developed a Covid-19 Early Warning system for front line medical staff which is showing promising results. The tech consists of a wearable digital thermometer sensor to measure axillary body temperature, a sensor platform e.g. smartphone, smartwatch or wearable IoT device running the CREW app and a cloud-based server running the CREW system which monitors the incoming data and generates automatic alarms if temperature thresholds are breached.
Intel is applying its technology and expertise to help better understand and combat the virus. For example, they have teamed up with Lenovo and Beijing-based BGI Genomics to accelerate the analysis of genomic characteristics of COVID-19. Their combined work is expected to further advance the capabilities of BGI’s sequencing tools and help scientists investigate transmission patterns of the virus and create better diagnostic methods. They are continuing to look for opportunities to assist our partners and customers in this urgent and important work. In addition, they've pledged $50M to Covid-19 efforts and are a founding partner of the Open COVID Pledge, a programme that allows companies working on coronavirus related developments to access Intel IP for free.
Microsoft are offering a range of support to individuals and businesses whose lives are changing because of coronavirus, from remote working services to education tools and engaging with community initiatives. Most recently it has volunteered its Healthcare Bot service to organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care. To assist customers in the rapid deployment of their COVID-19 bots, Microsoft is also making available a set of COVID-19 response templates that customers can use and modify:
- COVID-19 risk assessment based on CDC guidelines
- COVID-19 clinical triage based on CDC protocols
- COVID-19 up-to-date answers to frequently asked questions
- COVID-19 worldwide metrics
Teams at Google are striving to direct individuals to credible sources of information on coronavirus while stemming the flow of misinformation on their search engine, YouTube, Google Maps and Ads. Through their philanthropic wing, they are committing $50 million to the global COVID-19 response, focusing on health and science, access to educational resources and small business support. They are supporting governments and relief organizations deliver COVID-19 public service announcements through a $25 million Google Ad Grants crisis relief program. A sister company of Google (also owned by parent Alphabet), Verily, which is focused on health and life sciences, is working in collaboration with California state, local and federal health authorities to help establish testing sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. And DeepMind has already released predictions that should help scientists better understand the coronavirus protein structure in order to develop future treatments.
Coronavirus will have had an effect on their consumer device business, but nevertheless it is sending medical support to the places where it is needed:
"We feel close to Italy, the country where Huawei has been present for 16 years; we believe it our duty to contribute with technology, skills and medical supplies in such a critical moment. Collaboration and solidarity with no boundaries are key to support institutions and healthcare professionals who are hard working on the field to improve the conditions of Italian citizens affected by the emergency." commented Thomas Miao, CEO of Huawei Italy.
“Covid-19 knows no borders, it knows no nationality, and we are all in this together. We have been in Ireland for over 15 years and we will do everything we can to help, as we are doing in the other European countries we operate in,” said David Kenny, deputy general manager of Huawei Ireland. “Huawei will donate personal protective equipment to help those working on the frontline, and ICT solutions which could help with video conferencing, or any other useful applications for those who need it.”
British Telecommunications / EE
BT has a unique role in powering the UK's digital infrastructure. They are confident that they have more than enough capacity in the UK broadband network to handle mass-scale home-working in response to COVID-19. Their network is built to accommodate evening peak network capacity, which is driven by data-heavy things like video streaming and game downloads, for example. By comparison, data requirements for work-related applications like video calls and daytime email traffic represent a fraction of this. Even if the same heavy data traffic that is seen each evening were to run throughout the daytime, they are reassuring the public that there is still enough capacity for work applications to run simultaneously. They are also:
- offering free access to NHS online and 111
- removing caps on home broadband usage - all households have access to unlimited data
- putting in place initiatives to support vulnerable groups - for example by removing out-of-bundle charges for critical calls
- offering understanding to customers who are struggling to pay bills due to coronavirus related financial difficulties
Cambridge Consultants is part of a group of leading medical device development companies from Cambridge that has been asked by the UK Government to assist in the rapid development and manufacture of ventilators to meet increased hospital requirements, caused by COVID-19. Other companies in the partnership include PA Consulting, Sagentia, Team Consulting and TTP plc, with MetLase providing industrial support.
Vodafone are also offering customers free access to critical sites such as the NHS online and 111. They've also added extra capacity to their broadband and mobile networks to put them in the best possible position to cope with any extra demand as more people work from home - although they do point out that these networks were already strong and robust following a good 5 years of investment!
Amazon & Amazon Web Services
Amazon has taken many actions to support staff, customers and the wider community through COVID-19. Full details of their HR, logistics and philanthropy initiatives are available here.
Meanwhile the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative (DDI) is providing support for businesses innovating in rapid and accurate patient testing for 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and other diagnostic solutions to mitigate future outbreaks. The team at AWS is offering technical support and providing AWS promotional credits to support the use of AWS services to advance diagnostic research for selected institutions and companies.
University of Cambridge
Through a £20 million investment administered by the University of Cambridge, the newly formed COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium – comprised of the NHS, Public Health Agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and numerous academic institutions – will deliver large-scale, rapid sequencing of the cause of the disease and share intelligence with hospitals, regional NHS centres and the Government.
Samples from patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be sent to a network of sequencing centres. The Consortium will analyse the genetic code of COVID-19 samples circulating in the UK and in doing so, give public health agencies and clinicians a unique, cutting-edge tool to combat the virus.
Deloitte have quickly pulled together a wealth of resources to help organisations manage and mitigate the risk associated with COVID-19. This includes a weekly webinar series that explores the economic impact of COVID-19 on business with insights into specific sectors.
In their COVID-19 statement CW Member eg Technology, the product engineering design and development specialists, volunteered their support to any business designing the medical devices that the NHS needs:
We invite any medical professionals or businesses including consultancies working in the field of respiratory medical devices, particularly ventilators, to contact us and discuss how we might be able to assist in speeding up the transfer of their designs into manufacture here in the UK. eg technology has an agile team of engineers with extensive experience in designing medical devices and transferring them into manufacture across a wide network of supply partners.
Anglia are keeping a good track on suppliers who have production and/or logistics facilities in any of the impacted regions to identify any potential disruptions to the supply chain. They are posting regular status updates for each supplier on this page.