Live Updates: From Our Perspective #COVID-19

Silicon Foundry is lucky to partner with leading global corporations, from UPS and British Petroleum to Estée Lauder and Ford Motor Co. While each of our Members is being uniquely affected by COVID-19, the magnitude of the impact across them is universal.

During this extraordinary time, executives across industries are facing unprecedented challenges and having to make bold moves to withstand forceful headwinds that may very well forever change business as we know it.

Below is a simple tracker designed to synthesize, in real time, how corporations around the world are responding to this crisis.

We are starting to see what might be akin to “wartime mobilization” of the private sector. Companies around the world are repurposing their infrastructure to manufacture critical items — from masks to ventilators to surgical gowns — for healthcare workers and first responders.

Anheuser-Busch and Diageo, the world’s largest beer and spirits companies, have announced they’ll be pivoting some of their production and logistics to produce millions of bottles of hand sanitizer around the world. (source)

Burberry, the London-based luxury brand, will use its extensive global supply chain network to fast track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service, for use by medical staff. (source)

BYD Co., the Chinese electric carmaker backed by Warren Buffett, said it is now the world’s biggest manufacturer of face masks. The company has built up capacity to make five million masks a day, after converting its production less than a month ago to fight the coronavirus outbreak. (source)

Coca-Cola is manufacturing and providing essential supplies to frontline responders and healthcare workers including 6,000 lbs. of clear PET sheeting to manufacture 50,000+ protective surgical shields. The company is also producing hand sanitizer at an Iowa bottling facility to donate to the University of Iowa Hospital system. (source)

Dyson, the U.K. company known best for making vacuums, air purifiers and hair dryers, designed and built a new ventilator in 10 days in coordination with The Technology Partnership (TTP) to combat ventilator shortages in the growing COVID-19 pandemic. (source)

Ford Motor Co. and GE Healthcare have licensed a ventilator design from Airon Corp and plan to produce as many as 50,000 of them at a Michigan factory by July as part of a broader effort to provide a critical medical device used to treat people with COVID-19. (source)

Formula 1 racing-car engineers have devised a breathing machine for COVID-19 patients, and are currently working on mass production before distributing them to hospitals across the UK. (source)

Foxconn, the main supplier of Apple iPhones, switched part of its production to make surgical masks. When the lines are fully ramped, the company says it will be able to produce two million masks a day. (source)

Gap. Inc is shifting its resources to make vital gear such as masks, gowns and scrubs for frontline health care workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

General Motors and its partner, Ventec Life Systems, recently began mass production of critical care ventilators that will be delivered to the federal government to replenish depleted U.S. stockpiles in the fight against the coronavirus. (source)

Inditex, owner of the retail chain Zara, announced that it will donate face masks and look into converting their factories to make hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare officials in Spain. (source)

LVMH, the French luxury giant, has converted factories in France that normally produce perfumes and cosmetics for Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy to make hand sanitizing gel. The company will distribute the sanitizer to French hospitals for free. Estée Lauder recently announced a similar initiative. (source)

Microsoft has launched the CoVIg-19 Plasma Bot, a self-screening tool to help people who’ve recovered from the COVID-19 coronavirus donate their plasma for a treatment for the deadly disease. (source)

Nike is providing powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses and face shield to medical workers treating and fighting the spread of the virus. (source)

Razer, the gaming PC Manufacturer, announced it will convert some of its production lines to manufacture surgical masks. (source)

Tesla announced it will use its logistic network to deliver FDA-approved ventilators to U.S. hospitals for free. (source)

Tech giants are leveraging their influence, platforms and technology to combat COVID-19.

Combating misinformation and elevating authoritative content

We’re seeing a concerted effort from tech companies to more vigilantly monitor for relevant and accurate COVID-19 information on their platforms, while removing harmful or false content. (source)

  • Facebook pledged to remove false COVID-19 content and conspiracy theories from its platform that health authorities flagged as harmful. The social network is also deploying a new pop-up message targeting users who have commented on, reacted to or liked false content about the virus, and it will include the option to share the link or visit the WHO’s COVID-19 debunk site. (source)
  • Google launched a new information portal dedicated to the pandemic, as well as an improved desktop and mobile search experience. The company also mentioned it would remove COVID-19 misinformation on YouTube, Google Maps, its developer platforms and across all ads.
  • Reddit announced a dedicated AMA series in response to coronavirus-related public health concerns. The company also wrote that it may “apply a quarantine to communities that contain hoax or misinformation content,” removing them from search results, warning users and requiring explicit opt-ins to see the content.
  • Twitter announced that it is mobilizing the badge system to help surface and signal more authoritative and verified voices that can provide “credible updates” related to coronavirus.

Scaling testing and response efforts

Amazon’s Care Unit is helping with the logistics and delivery of at-home testing kits in Seattle. (source)

Facebook is leveraging its developer community to provide free services to government health organizations and UN health agencies to help them use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis. (source). Facebook is also working with Carnegie Mellon University to gather data about U.S. residents who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 — information that could help researchers in forecasting the spread of the pandemic. (source)

Accelerating vaccine research efforts

IBM and several other tech companies (e.g., Amazon, Google, Microsoft) are working together to gather compute power to supercharge research efforts to find a vaccine. (source)

Johnson & Johnson is working on an unnamed adenovirus-based vaccine and is ramping up production to make up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine. The company has said it could be ready for emergency use in health workers by January, and it has a $1 billion agreement with the U.S. government’s biomedical research unit, BARDA, to develop it. (source)

Microsoft is collaborating with immunotherapy startup ImmunityBio to leverage the company’s Azure platform to perform a highly detailed computational analysis of the spike protein structure of the SARS-CoV-2. Having a detailed model of the spike protein complex is crucial for researchers seeking to develop effective vaccines or therapies. (source)

Catalyzing innovation

Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, among others, are working together on a hackathon designed to build technology products that address COVID-related issues, including supporting medical workers and protecting vulnerable populations. (source)

Fostering community

Facebook is expanding Community Help as part of its COVID-19 efforts by allowing people to request or offer help to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as donate to nonprofit fundraisers. (source)

Launching new contact tracing systems

Apple and Google announced a system for tracking the spread of the new coronavirus, allowing users to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions and approved apps from health organizations. (source)

MIT researchers have built a system that uses random identifiers transmitted via Bluetooth to act as an automated contact tracing system that can help public health officials and individuals more effectively combat COVID-19. (source)

Corporations with 3D printing capabilities augment supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) to combat shortages.

HP and its network of global digital manufacturing partners are mobilizing their 3D printing teams, technology and production capacity to help deliver critical 3D printed parts and supplies including face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers and respirator parts. (source)

Jaguar Land Rover is using its prototype build operations and 3D printing facilities to start manufacturing PPE equipment for the NHS staff who are on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus. (source)

Companies across industries and sectors are leveraging their respective and available resources to aid those most negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Support for healthcare workers

Delta is providing more than 200,000 pounds of food to hospitals, community food banks and other organizations around the world to support people in need as well as those working tirelessly on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (source)

DiDi Chuxing, the largest Chinese mobility service provider, organized a team of 1,336 ride-hailing drivers to provide emergency services to the medical workforce in Wuhan, as well as set up free service teams in Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo and Xiamen to help service the local hospitals. (source)

Hertz plans to help New York City health-care workers during the coronavirus epidemic by offering them free car rentals until the end of April. (source)

Lyft announced the launch of Essential Deliveries, a program aimed at servicing the needs of health care and government organizations and non-profits during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (source)

Support for small business owners

Facebook has created a $100 million grant program for small businesses that will include both ad credits and cash grants that can be spent on operational costs like paying workers and paying rent. (source)

Google is offering $340M in ad credits to small and midsize businesses with active Google ad accounts as part of a larger $800M coronavirus response package. (source)

Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched a new grant program providing a total of $1M in grants to Michigan’s small manufacturers looking to retool and produce critical health and human service supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (source)

Shopify Inc. will begin providing cash advances directly to online merchants in Canada, as the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant rushes out products to support small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. (source)



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Silicon Foundry

Silicon Foundry

Silicon Foundry is an innovation advisory platform that builds bridges between leading multi-national corporations and global startup ecosystems.