On Thursday, September 10th, Google.org announced that VODAN Africa was selected to receive funding as part of the company’s efforts to support projects using innovative Al and data analytics to help understand COVID-19 and address its impacts. VODAN Africa will receive 100,000 USD in Google.org funds to create a cross-continental network of connected data that will help scientists around the world to use data-intelligence to support an effective response to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this support from Google.org, we will cover more countries, deploy more machine-actionable FAIR Data Points and train more data stewards. We are excited to part of this transformative change that will impact medical research and make Africa a huge resource of verified data”, said Prof Francisca Oladipo, the Executive Coordinator, VODAN Africa.
This funding is part of Google.org and Google’s University relations $100M commitment to COVID-19 relief efforts and organizations were selected through a competitive, merit-based review process. The funding focuses on key areas where NGOs and academic institutions have identified significant need, with an emphasis on near-term impact and solutions for vulnerable populations. Focus areas include health equity, disease spread monitoring and forecasting, frontline health worker support, secondary public health effects, and privacy-preserving contact tracing efforts.
“It’s been remarkable to see leaders across different industries, sectors and areas of expertise come together during this critical time in our world’s history,” said Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Head of Product Impact for Google.org. “Google.org is proud to support the efforts of these researchers and nonprofits as they work together to better understand and address the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and help establish more equitable solutions to ensure everyone has access to the information and resources they need.”