The University of California, Berkeley, one of the world’s premier public universities and worldwide center for innovation, is taking a leading role in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and is convening industry and its vast internal expertise to launch real time initiatives to help firms accelerate and adapt to the new environment. With its new COVID-RX initiative, the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET) will be conducting targeted projects in partnership with leading companies to focus on adapting and innovating under adversity.

We are all currently experiencing a global pandemic. Its effects are both deadly and economic. The coronavirus has forced the world to develop a wide range of new work models (e.g. telecommuting) and new social behaviors (e.g. acceptance of social distance), among other fundamental changes.

In the face of these changes, many projects from the past 6 months are no longer relevant. Firms and public organizations today need to adapt quickly in order to survive.

To share best practices and accelerate adaptation, Berkeley is inviting applications and selecting from up to eight representative industry teams that are dealing with these tactical and strategic changes. Participating teams may come from areas such as supply chain management, e-commerce, fashion, travel, telecom, high tech, or other domains.  

“This innovative university-industry partnership program will accelerate the development of solutions for adapting under adversity, benefiting not only the participating companies, but also our students,” says Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu of Berkeley’s College of Engineering.

The format will be a 1.5-hour video-conference meeting per week for 3 months that includes information, project updates, and best practice sharing using an innovation framework used at Berkeley that will help companies quickly adapt and thrive in the current environment. Student experts in given areas will also participate as program interns.

In support of the initiative, Rich Lyons, Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer at UC Berkeley said, “At Berkeley, we’ve been at the forefront of innovation since our founding. In today’s historically turbulent time, Berkeley’s bigger mission of translating intellectual creativity into societal benefit has never been more relevant.”

Berkeley’s experience with innovation process, culture, data, communication tools, and technology development will serve as the backbone of the program. The program will be hosted by the Sutardja Center at UC Berkeley and include participation from a network of industry leaders and academic faculty. Participation allows for companies to augment team capacity and innovation capabilities while also widely sharing results and best practices to help the world adapt to the health and economic issues caused by Covid-19.

Contact information: Please contact Keith McAleer at kmcaleer@berkeley.edu for media inquiries or if your company is interested in participating. Find the most up-to-date information on the COVID-RX website.

About UC Berkeley: The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a public research university founded in 1868, it is the flagship campus and the oldest of the ten campuses of the University of California. Berkeley has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top universities in the world.

About the Sutardja Center: The Pantas and Ting Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology is the premiere institution at UC Berkeley for the study and practice of entrepreneurship and technology innovation.  Since 2005, SCET has created the foundation of Berkeley’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem including SkyDeck, the Fung Institute,

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