• The evidence base and experimentation of science are essential to ending the COVID-19 crisis
  • Universities are analysing and sharing data to inform policy-makers
  • Entrepreneurs are repurposing their equipment to help fight the pandemic

Scientists and entrepreneurs spend their lives anticipating and creating the future. They design techniques and practices to experiment and explore new options, and adapt quickly to evidence, pivoting into new areas when necessary.

COVID-19 has unleashed a wave of innovation as well as new innovation challenges. The evidence base and experimentation of science, coupled with the agility and risk-taking of entrepreneurs, are major elements of this wave and essential to ending the crisis and building a post-COVID-19 world.

It is no accident that the global hubs of innovation are located in proximity to deep scientific capabilities and the universities that underpin them. Universities provide a never-ending flow of high-quality, independent ideas, activated by their talent and facilities.

How universities can tackle the pandemic

Universities around the world are collaborating to address the immediate challenges of COVID-19, marshalling their resources, people, materials and facilities. They are analysing and sharing data to inform policy-makers and the public, such as through Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center and Imperial College’s infectious disease modelling. The latter’s modelling triggered policy shifts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Universities are crucial institutions for the international response to the pandemic.

—Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford

As the University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson argues, universities are crucial institutions for the international response to the pandemic. From the search for a vaccine, to the rapid design and manufacture of ventilators, to the mental health challenges of self-isolation, universities are in the vanguard of the battle against coronavirus. They are collaborating with research funders such as The Wellcome Trust and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which are helping to coordinate scientific efforts to eradicate COVID-19.

Read the rest of the article at The World Economic Forum (blog)