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As Covid-19 continues to impact the world, tech companies rally to fight back *Updated 24 April*

By Ken Wong - 24 Apr 2020

Huawei, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, NVIDIA, Razer, Salesforce, Samsung and telcos in Singapore

Huawei

Huawei Cloud announced that they launched a global action plan to help customers around the world to fight COVID-19 with cloud and AI services.

Huawei Cloud based EIHealth is now free of charge and is being used in viral genome detection, antiviral drug in silico screening, and AI-assisted CT patient screening service. In the education sector, Huawei Cloud works with partners to provide online education services for schools and other educational institutions as students have to stay home. Huawei is also helping enterprises migrate businesses to the cloud to ensure continuous operations while the pandemic continues. Huawei Cloud is now offering up to 1,500 hours of free cloud resources for each newly registered user, complete with 24/7 professional support on the Huawei Cloud (international) website.

 

IBM

Image courtesy of IBM

IBM has signed the Open Covid Pledge, granting free access to the company's patent portfolio to those developing technologies to help diagnose, prevent, contain or treatment of Covid-19. IBM’s pledge covers thousands of IBM AI and Watson patents, as well as more than 900 active U.S. patents in the general area of biological viruses. IBM is committed to providing scientists and researchers tools and resources to help combat Covid-19. Signing this pledge builds on a variety of technology IBM has already made available to help in this effort, including the launch of the Covid-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth an unprecedented amount of computing power to help researchers better understand Covid-19, its treatments and potential cures.

 

Intel

Image courtesy of Intel

Intel is pledging US$50 million in a pandemic response technology initiative to combat Covid-19 through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students. Included in Intel’s effort is an additional innovation fund for requests where access to Intel expertise and resources can have an immediate impact. This is in addition to prior announcements of US$10 million in donations that are supporting local communities during this critical time.

 

Lenovo

Image courtesy of Lenovo

Lenovo provided relevant equipment and IT infrastructure to support emergency hospitals in Wuhan, China. This included the installation and debugging of more than 1,200 computers, 280 tablets, 660 printers, software and support within a short time frame to enable the hospitals to provide necessary services to patients on time.

In the other regions, Lenovo launched an “online consultation” service for Heilongjiang Daqing Longnan Hospital to provide free health consultation services to the citizens. In Chongqing, Lenovo completed the installation and debugging of infrared temperature measurement equipment within 48 hours to assist epidemic prevention in the area.”

Lenovo, in partnership with Intel, donated a dedicated supercomputer cluster with software and hardware expertise to support BGI Genomics’ researchers to lead the battle against coronavirus. BGI Genomics was the first to develop diagnostic test kits for the disease which will hopefully lead to the development of a vaccine.  

                                                                                                                                                                                           

NVIDIA

Image courtesy of Nvidia

NVIDIA computer scientists have joined the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, which brings together leaders from the US government, industry and academia to accelerate research using the world’s most powerful HPC resources.

The consortium’s objective is to accelerate the development of effective methods to detect, contain and treat the coronavirus. It will support researchers by providing access to 30 supercomputers with more than 400 petaflops of compute performance.

The NVIDIA team is led by Ian Buck, vice president and general manager of Accelerated Computing, and has expertise across a variety of critical domains, including AI, supercomputing, drug discovery, molecular dynamics, genomics, medical imaging and data analytics.

 

Razer

Image Courtesy of Razer

Razer has converted production lines in China and Singapore to produce facemasks for countries they do business in. Their CEO Tan Ming Liang said that the company would be doing this to help countries and medical staff facing a shortage of essential equipment in dealing with Covid-19. Singapore-based corporations Frasers Property, JustCo Global, and PBA Group followed up saying that they would each commit US$50,000 upfront to help support Razer’s efforts.

*Update* 

Within the initial 30 day timeframe Tan set out, Razer today announced that Singapore’s first fully automated mask production is now operational within 24 days of initiating the project. The mask line is fully automated and expected to have a manufacturing capacity of approximately 5 million masks per month and can be scaled up if required. The ‘Made in Singapore’ face masks by Razer are manufactured in an ISO 13485 certified controlled room environment and the masks produced will be certified according to local and international standards.

 

Salesforce

Image courtesy of Salesforce

Salesforce’s newly expanded Covid-19 Care Response Solution provides free technology access for emergency response teams, care management teams, health systems and other healthcare and life sciences organisations, helping them to manage requests, ensure data security and distribute trusted information. This is done to support Singapore’s healthcare ecosystem during this Covid-19 period where they are faced with increased volume on health-related queries.

Salesforce has also recently partnered with non-profit organisation Common Sense Media to launch WideOpenSchool.org, a free online resource to support families and educators who are transitioning to remote learning.

 

Samsung

Image courtesy of Sansumg

For customers whose Samsung warranty expires while services are unavailable due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, the company is offering a one-month extension from the date repair services become available again.

Samsung has donated US$29 million worth of funds and goods to governments and communities that have been most affected by COVID-19 to help with their relief efforts, including the purchase of medical supplies such as facemasks. They are donating smartphones to patients in quarantine to help them keep in touch with their families and friends, as well as air purifiers and other appliances to hospitals and quarantine centres. Samsung is also donating tablets to educational institutions so that children can continue to learn outside of the classroom. They are also making Samsung’s own CSR education modules available online so that children have access to more enriching content at home.

Samsung has secured UV-C boxes from a third party and is allowing customers to bring their Galaxy phones, Galaxy Watches and Galaxy Buds into Samsung Service Centres and Samsung Experience Stores for sanitising.

In Korea, Samsung provided local authorities with facilities to operate as a care centre for patients to assist with the country’s containment efforts. Samsung engineering teams are also working with companies in Korea that produce face masks to help them boost production by improving factory layouts and manufacturing processes, and in some cases, are creating moulds for mask production.

 

Singapore telcos providing further local reinforcement

In Singapore, Grab and Razer aren’t alone in flying the flag against Covid-19. Local telcos are providing customers with free data and entertainment during this social distancing and #WorkFromHome period. They are also providing support for businesses looking to enable a mobile workforce.