With the emergence and clear effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), people around the world are dramatically changing all aspects of life. This is an unfortunate circumstance that no one can escape, but as human beings are resilient creatures, we survive, and most importantly, we innovate.
We at StartupBlink recognize this change, and we decided to use our technology to help spread the innovation in this global quest to stop the virus. Together with the Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) by UNAIDS and Moscow Agency of Innovations, we have launched the Coronavirus Innovation Map.
The Relevance of the Map
At the moment there is no direct source for a comprehensive data innovation map because of the novel status of the virus. The timing is critical because coronavirus is a pandemic that will require new innovative ideas on how to tackle it and its effects, therefore a crowdsourced resource for innovative solutions is important during this time.
No matter who you are, one of the things we need more than ever is to stay well-informed and to be aware of not only the bad but the good that is happening in the world. It is also important to know that public institutions, corporations, and startups around the globe have been working tirelessly since the emergence of the coronavirus in hopes to find a solution or contain this virus.
What is the Global Coronavirus Innovation Map?
Coronavirus Innovation Map is a platform of hundreds of innovations and solutions from around the world that help people cope and adapt to life amid the coronavirus pandemic, and to connect innovators.
The CoronaVirus Innovation Map is a visualized global database that is mapping the innovations related to tackling coronavirus in various fields such as diagnostics, treatment, lifestyle changes, etc., on a geographical scale.
Listings are added by the research teams of StartupBlink and the partners, as well as crowdsourced by the global community. In fact, anyone can suggest an initiative to be added!
StartupBlink has innovative proprietary technology databases and algorithms that we use to map startup ecosystems and innovation. This puts us in a position to produce customized databases depending on the type of innovation at hand. The technology required is ready and since COVID-19 has sparked a lot of innovation because of its novel status, StartupBlink is able to gather more data about this innovation and reflect it on our database that is already being used as a resource for startup ecosystem innovation.
Who is this for?
Our goal with the Coronavirus Innovation Map is to build a crowdsourced resource that maps hundreds of innovations and solutions globally that help people cope and adapt to life amid the coronavirus, and to connect innovators.
This platform is a database for innovators to know who the other players are and where the projects or startups are located allowing them to connect and create solutions in this field. Policymakers will also be able to efficiently look for viable solutions in one place.
You may use the map to browse initiatives in specific locations (type a city or country in the search box), or choose a category wherein you would like to find a solution.
Each category on the innovation mind map seeks to answer the following pressing questions:
Prevention – How to track, and prevent the spread of the virus? For example, the “Track Virus” App in Israel helps to see the locations where the virus is widely spread. Sharing this knowledge with people will prevent them from going to infected places.
Diagnostics – What kind of diagnostic kits are used to identify those with the virus? Scientists around the world are rushing to develop and produce reliable and quick test kits, preferably at a low-cost. For instance, E25Bio has developed a paper-based test kit to detect COVID-19 that will be able to deliver results in half an hour.
Treatment – What kind of precautionary treatments e.g. medicines/drugs can help while specific treatments and vaccinations are still being developed. How can people get access to their medications without leaving their homes? In this sense, telehealth and home medicine delivery solutions will help us.
Grants and support initiatives – successful innovators need support so in this category we feature grants and other support initiatives by various institutions worldwide.
Information – How the mass population can get timely and accurate information about the crisis situation and ongoing innovations? Lack of awareness stands in the core of panic among people; thus, crisis communication and provision of data via modern and widely-used ICTs is the potential solution to reduce the chaos.
Life and Business Adaptation – How to adjust our daily lives to the current situation by going virtual? Almost immediately, educational institutions had to switch to e-learning, home offices temporarily replaced on-site work offices, and most of the official and entertainment events, as well as travel plans, were canceled. Now, it is time for you – people with innovative minds to come up with ideas on how societies can go online without changing their daily routines and simultaneously keep the quality of their lives.
The categories shown above will help those visiting the platform, quickly find a solution to their problem. As this issue affects all kinds of people and many aspects of our lives, the categories are broad for a good reason. This platform leaves no-one behind, you can be a government official, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, even parents and students. As an individual or a group/community you will have a contribution to this platform that will make other people’s lives easier.
Through the Coronavirus Innovation Map, we would like to especially encourage collaboration. In these challenging times, everyone can be an innovator. You can come up with your idea and directly contact us. Or if you are an innovator who sees a product or service already in the platform that is connected to your idea, feel free to contact them directly through the platform.
How will we achieve this?
In order to create an innovation directory, we at StartupBlink have developed a technology to research and map innovation around the world since 2014. We know that curating all relevant data in a short amount of time is not achievable by a single person or company, which is why we will need everyone’s help. Through crowdsourcing and the help of the community, we will be able to cover the gaps and have as much information as possible. As a community, we will be able to reach this ambitious goal of connecting innovators and people with solutions.
Do you know of an innovation helping you and others cope and adapt in these difficult times? Maybe a product or a resource created specifically to deal with the coronavirus crisis? Something we did not think we needed just a few weeks ago and now it is a must? If you answer any of these questions with a yes, then you are eligible to pitch-in by adding your entity to the map.
Let’s not forget that innovation requires collaboration. A small idea you think of today may become a solution to the big problems the world is currently facing. Thus, we really appreciate your collaboration with other innovative minds and contributions to the innovation directory.
As we have mentioned, we cannot do this alone and this is why we are happy to have the Health Innovation Exchange by UNAIDS and Moscow Agency of Innovations as our founding partners.
The Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) is a platform launched by UNAIDS that acts as a neutral facilitator and broker of innovative solutions for health-related issues, particularly in the global South. The HIEx has been working with countries on analysis of health priorities and needs, curating tailored health innovative solutions to match the needs, and connecting the investors with innovators to ensure the collaboration and sustainability of the implementation of solutions. Together with StartupBink, the HIEx aims to identify and connect innovators worldwide, who provide solutions against COVID-19.
Moscow Agency of Innovations brings together the efforts of corporations, the city, and startups to turn Moscow into the global capital of innovations. It helps startups fine-tune new products and bring them to the market, assist large corporations to find teams to address technology challenges. In addition, the agency tests and implements innovative solutions in the city.
What initiatives are accepted on the map?
We aim to keep the Coronavirus Innovation Map valuable and relevant. All listings are reviewed against our three main criteria: innovative, relevant (responding directly to COVID-19) and trustworthy. We give priority to the solutions ready for implementation over those in the idea stage. However, if you think we missed something, let us know through the contact form here.