The Engineering X Pandemic Preparedness programme, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, has launched its first two initiatives to support the UK and global engineering communities in learning from the current COVID-19 pandemic. Engineering X is an international collaboration, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, that brings together some of the world’s leading problem-solvers to address the great challenges of our age. Its Pandemic Preparedness programme aims to facilitate global sharing of lessons on disruptive solutions and best practice approaches in the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from pandemics. To start this process, Engineering X is inviting immediate participation in two initial activities:
- A grant call to support global networks and communities to develop highly novel, engineering-centred research projects and/or innovations with disruptive potential to tackle the most pressing challenges of pandemics and their rapid deployment to areas in most need in the UK and in low- and middle-income countries globally. Applicants are invited for two strands with different application criteria but which are both initially open for projects led by applicants with an existing relationship with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Up to £20k each is available for proposals that meet the relevant criteria. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2020 and we expect funding decisions to be made by 22 June.
- A survey to assess the role of engineers around the world in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and gather information on life-saving lessons, methods and technologies that they are able to share. Engineering X aims to assist engineers in all parts of the world to access the networks and information they need to respond most effectively to the pandemic. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete and the results will be used to guide delivery of programmes supporting the international engineering response to the pandemic.
This latest initiative from Engineering X has benefited from input gained from meetings the Academy has hosted for international networks of science and engineering academies (CAETS and Euro-CASE) to share insight into how engineers are responding to the pandemic across the world, and connect organisations and individuals delivering critical solutions and products. The Academy intends to build on this work with similar collaborations.