8 inspiring open initiatives that bring people together in the fight against COVID-19 - Questers

8 inspiring open initiatives that bring people together in the fight against COVID-19

If there is one good thing that would come out of the worldwide critical situation with the Coronavirus, it would be the global collaboration to fight it. A great number of open source and volunteering projects has emerged during the past few months uniting scientists, engineers and citizens to find solutions and reduce the negative impact of the crisis in every sector of the public life. It is fascinating to observe how distributed groups of people across the globe are working together to enhance capacity and solve the emerging problems.

We gathered a list of some of the most inspiring open initiatives that are aiming to help the world recover and may change the way we collaborate and exchange information in the future. Check them out – you may get inspired to join some of them and become part of the collective effort:

  • Folding@Home is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics that has focused on COVID-19. The project brings together volunteers who give access to their personal computers to run an enormous amount of calculations for modelling molecular dynamics for the design of computational drug. The data gathered by this project is available here and is regularly updated.
  • Coronavirus puzzle game by the University of Washington and Foldit is challenging scientist and the public to build a protein that could block the virus from infiltrating human cells. The game is on Foldit, a site developed by the university’s Center for Game Science designed to crowdsource contributions to important protein research from registered players.

The most promising ideas generated by the game on the COVID-19 will be tested and possibly manufactured by the university’s Institute for Protein Design.

  • World Health Organisation App is a project initiated by WHO that with the support of volunteers aims to develop an official WHO App to help contain and mitigate the virus. The app will be available worldwide and will provide information tailored to the user’s location, language and culture. Everybody who is interested and willing to help may join the collective here.
  • 2019-nCoV Data Repository by Johns Hopkins CSSE is one of the most trusted sources of data on the outbreak. It uses various sources to gather and verify the data. The repository powers the dynamic dashboard that tracks reported cases of COVID-19 in real time.
  • Dashboard of the genomic epidemiology of COVID-19 run by Nextstrain, an open-source project to harness the scientific and public health potential of pathogen genome data. This open project helps scientists to study the genomic evolution of the Coronavirus and track how it is passed between individuals.
  • Open Covid19 is an initiative that aims to develop and share open-source and low-cost methodologies to safely test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 using multiple approaches.
  • Low-Cost Open-Source Ventilator is an independent project that aims to convert a low-cost CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) blower into a simple non-invasive pressure support ventilator that may help when hospitals face difficulties in supplying standard respirators.
  • Hack Crisis is a Bulgarian online hackathon that is going to be held on 27-29 March. It aims to gather professionals across the country to develop ideas to combat the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The main topics of the hackathon are Saving Lives, Saving Communities and Saving Businesses. The teams with the best ideas will be supported by mentors and will receive financial support to further develop their projects.