Software engineers and scientists who work at Scientist.com have created the COVID-19 Collaboration Center.
“We have worked very hard to try to make a contribution to COVID-19 research effort,” said Kevin Lustig CEO of Scientist.com.
Its launch date was set for April 22 at https://www.covidcollaborationcenter.com/.
According to Scientist.com, “The website will connect COVID-19 researchers and promote collaboration, data-sharing and academic and industry partnerships.
Scientist.com is providing the personnel and funding needed to build and launch V1.0 of the CCC, but we (Scientist.com) hope that multiple partners will help expand the initiative. The CCC is available at no cost to users, the company said.
The CCC Connection
“We built the Covid-19 Collaboration Center because there is an urgent need for scientists and nonscientists to share ideas and resources and pull together to find a cure for this global pandemic,” said Chris Petersen, Scientist.com’s chief technology officer and a co-founder and a key architect of the CCC. “The name COVID-19 Collaboration Center was inspired by the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (aka CCC), a voluntary public works program that helped America out of the Great Depression.”
The COVID Collaboration Center will initially take on seven initiatives: research, suppliers, funding, trackers, literature, PPE, and consortia.
The need for collaboration has been emphasized in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the first category: research. “The scientific community has mobilized in an extraordinary way to fight COVID-19,” said Romila Mukerjea, director of research concierge and discovery sciences at Scientist.com “It is our hope that the research section, with brief summaries of over 100 ongoing academic, biotech and pharma COVID-19 projects, will connect scientists and promote research collaboration, data-sharing, and academic and industry partnerships.”
The research section includes academic, pharma and biotech projects.
The shortage of everything from ventilators to reagents for COVID-19 testing has put the spotlight on suppliers. “Almost all COVID-19 researchers need help that is only available from specialized laboratories,” said Mukerjea. “The suppliers section has been heavily used by researchers to access the services, samples and reagents they need to conduct their COVID-19 projects.”
According to CEO Lustig, the Scientist.com platform was recently used to aid hospitals searching for scarce reagents. It was very successful in aiding two Boston hospitals in a crowd sourcing type of effort.
The suppliers section includes services, reagents and other supplies used in COVID-19 research.
You can’t fight any battle these days without money. Funding already plays a key role in the COVID-19 fight. “COVID-19 laboratory research is expensive,” said Mukerjea, “Spreading the word about foundation, government, nonprofit and other sources of grant funding will help ensure the most effective COVID-19 research is funded.”
The funding section includes foundation, government and other sources of funding.
Keeping up to date on COVID-19 is a must for making scientific decisions and even personal decisions.
“There are now almost 200 ongoing clinical trials testing potential COVID-19 therapies and vaccines,” said Mukerjea. “The trackers section contains links to COVID-19 clinical trials and case trackers so researchers and the public can stay up to date.”
Clinical trial and case trackers deliver facts and projections. It is where you would find such things as a searchable database of registered European COVID-19 clinical trials.
“There is new scientific data about COVID-19 being published every day,” said Mukerjea. “The literature section of the CCC contains links to COVID-19 literature hubs, scientific articles, pre-prints, clinical resources and research commentary.”
The literature section is where you would find scientific articles, clinical resources and commentary.
“Nearly every state and country is in a mad rush to obtain personal protective equipment such as masks for health care workers and ventilators for patients,” said Mukerjea. “The PPE section of the CCC contains links to nonprofit and for-profit initiatives that can help source and purchase PPE.”
Initiatives for sourcing personal protective equipment are in the PPE section.
“We (Scientist.com) have already been working with nonprofits like the Project N95 to help them figure out how to qualify Chinese suppliers of PPEs,” Lustig said. “The project is trying to source 3 billion N-95 masks through upward of a thousand vendors in China. We (Scientist.com) pool all the expertise we have to help (the group) try to figure out which companies are real and high quality to help the project in that endeavor.”
“There are numerous scientific groups that have joined together to support COVID-19 research,” said Mukerjea. “The consortia section of the CCC contains information on research consortia as well as links to other COVID-19 resource hubs and support groups.”
In the consortia section you can find other COVID-19 resource hubs and support groups from the Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union to the Global Virus Network.
“Researchers will be able to come to one place to find out if similar projects are going on elsewhere,” Lustig said. “Find Out where they can get the best reagents for their COVID research. Find out what labs are available and open to do some of these experiments for researchers.
They can use Scientist.com platform to find out if services are available and at what cost. If the scientist and the lab agree, we set it all up making it very easy for scientist to purchase everything through the marketplace. We essentially eliminate all paperwork.”