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Cross-Industry Experts to Reveal Technical Solutions for Covid-19 Pandemic

publication date: Jun 23, 2020
author/source: Merck


Data-driven answers and feasible, high-impact solutions have been difficult to aggregate as the global community races to understand SARS-CoV2 faster than the novel coronavirus can spread.

More than 180 science, healthcare and policy leaders from around the world came together to synthesize key areas of pandemic response and author a report outlining technical solutions for each. That report summary will be released and discussed during the second in a series of monthly “Pandemic Response Catalyst Conversations.”

Four leading participants from the problem-solving exercise will provide facts and data-driven insights on their methodology as well as steps forward to accelerate global recovery from Covid-19 and build the infrastructure to combat future public health crises. This live, virtual event will include an audience Q&A. The six-part series is hosted by the Life Science business of Merck, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence and MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative.


  • Dr. Udit Batra, CEO, Life Science at Merck, and member of the Merck Executive Board.
  • Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center.
  • Gianni Giacomelli, chief innovation leader at Genpact and head of innovation design at MIT’s Collective Intelligence Design Lab.
  • Dr. David Sun Kong, director of MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative.
  • Dr. Patrick Schneider, head of the Life Science Innovation Board and head of strategy, business development and innovation, Research Solutions, at the Life Science business of Merck.


The Pandemic Response Catalyst Conversation series is part of a larger initiative developed by the three host organizations to generate open science, data-driven, collaborative solutions.


Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CET.
Select interview opportunities available by appointment June 25 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. -6 p.m. CET and 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EDT / 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. CET.


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About the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence  

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how new communications technologies are changing the way people work together. This first-of-its-kind research effort draws on the strengths of many diverse organizations across the Institute including the MIT Media Lab, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.
About the MIT Community Biotechnology Initiative 

The MIT Community Biotechnology Initiative (CBI) of the MIT Media Lab develops tools and technologies to enable the broadest possible participation in biotechnology. Projects include the creation of low-cost enabling hardware, infrastructure for sharing, and new interfaces for artistic expression with biology.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the “Merck” name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.


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