A coalition of grassroots technology initiatives in the UK has coordinated a group of key technology industry people to support the UK’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak. COVID19 Technical Response (CTR) is designed to coordinate the availability of available technical talent; So far, they have gathered more than 400 technical volunteers, most of them from the UK, some of whom have been volunteering for local Covid Mutual Aid groups that are emerging across the UK.
CTR will also work to coordinate technical industry volunteers to provide any technical solutions available to guide and support UK citizens who have experienced problems during a crisis.
The alliance works closely with Coronavirus Tech Handbook, an initiative launched by Newtalk House, a school of political technology, that has rapidly become a global resource.
The group’s four main “calls” are: 1) join Code4COVID Slack as volunteers, or recruit volunteers, or work on projects
2) Add your technical skills to the Covid-19 technical response table
3) Submit mainstream UK technical issues to Covid Technical Support
4) Contribute and access resources on CoronavirusTech Handbook
Many people have formed CTR together to support anyone who develops solutions for the current epidemic. These include:
Covidmutualaid.org – Find a local mutual aid group and volunteer or seek help
Coronavirus Techhandbook – A Crowdsource Library for Resources and Organizations
Code4Covid Slack Community and TechForUK – Slack Group for Collecting Technical Volunteers
Covid Tech Support – Collect technical support requests for volunteers
Covid19-Response – Moderate Science in the U.S. “Knowledge”
Helpwithcovid.com – International Committee on Volunteer Registration and Ideas
Catalyst – a UK charity that provides digital support to civil society organizations.
TechForce19 – Technology to combat self-isolation, especially among the elderly and vulnerable
COVID19’s technical response says its goal is not to build the personalized solutions needed for front-line personnel, but to be a mentoring group that provides extensive oversight to link these personalised efforts. The aim is also to put it in place so that the system to solve new problems is efficient and that technology is used effectively.
CTR wants to create a “matching organization” that will expose community volunteers to technical problems. It will also encourage the technical community to engage in dialogue with health care providers/public service personnel they know, share tools, and build technical teams that can solve problems in stages.
The group was founded by similar global initiatives, including Helpwithcovid.com and Covid19-response.
Ed Saperia, co-founder of Coronavirus Tech Handbook, said in a commentary: “Millions of knowledge workers are showing up. It’s great, it’s going to change society, but it needs to be coordinated. Often, the most difficult part is not technology, but understanding what you can do, and here you should use your wisdom and creativity. “
Cinzia Ricciardone, co-founder of Code4covid, said: “Code4covid was founded on March 16 by a group of technical experts and currently has more than 400 technical volunteers. Our mission is to find the technical solutions and resources that help people during the COVID-19 crisis and to ensure that energy is directed to the right place to save lives. “
CTR co-organizer Freddy J. Freddie Fforde, of The Technology Industry, said: “Like many other groups across the UK, the tech community is trying to play their part. We don’t know what this will lead to, but we have to start somewhere and help people come together and see what they can do.
Josh Russell, co-founder of Tech For UK, said: “Our goal is to give emerging teams a good understanding of the problem space, so we’re going to have a user research (interpreter) feature to deliver insights to the regular community.” If you’re a user researcher, when you register on code4covid.org, if you’re a user researcher, user research is a secret. “
“Our goal is not to put anyone at unnecessary risk because they don’t have access to the technology that volunteer technicians can help,” says Marc Sloan, co-founder of Covid Technologies. “
Nathan Young, co-founder of Coronavirus Tech Handbook, said, “CoronavirusTech Handbook is a repository of every project and resource, and works with programs such as CTR to clarify problems and coordinate responses. We can do incredible things very quickly. “
Mike Butcher, co-founder of Tech For UK, said: “There are several people in the UK who have responded to this crisis, but many are not co-ordinating or even aware of everyone’s existence. It is our responsibility to bring as many people as possible into a broad group, and at this time the UK can bring together the largest number of skilled people. “