“We’re creating energy for innovation”

How do we work with external researchers? The example of a “Pandemic Response Supermind.”

When faced with a novel virus of pandemic proportions, new scientific information is continuously being discovered. How do we coordinate this flood of information and make it available to those that need it? Collaboration is key, as shown through the “Pandemic Response Supermind Activation,” a problem-solving initiative between our Life Science business sector and the Center for Collective Intelligence and Community Biotechnology Initiative at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“It all began with an e-mail,” recalls Patrick Schneider, who is responsible for our Life Science Innovation Board and spearheading our role in the collaboration. “We brought together over 60 of our own biologists, chemists, engineers and digital experts to distinguish the most pressing needs of the pandemic. This discussion then prompted us to work with our collaborators at MIT to convene experts around these core areas during a collective intelligence exercise.”

Over 180 leaders from various disciplines joined the “Supermind” to share their expertise, data and findings, meanwhile working to solve the current crisis and prepare for future pandemics. Their insights are being shared with the global community and new ideas are being supported through participation on MIT’s open platform, the Pandemic Response CoLab.

“The collaboration is running extremely well,” explains Schneider. “With so many experts from diverse disciplines coming together for this purpose, we’re creating energy for innovation. It is also clear that collaboration among experts with a variety of perspectives is fueling many more insights than if each of us were to work alone.”

This collaboration, which harnesses the power of collective intelligence across the global scientific community, is helping accelerate the path to pandemic resilience so that society can recover from Covid-19 and future pandemics as quickly as possible.

Patrick Schneider holds a doctorate in virology. He has been working for our company in various roles since 1998. He is Head of Strategy, Business Development and Innovation within Life Science.