per Carla Escolà Costa,
The spread of COVID-19, a highly contagious coronavirus that has infected over 100,000 people globally, has undeniably altered our lives on a day-to-day basis. Health organizations, governments, companies, and others continue to analyze the spread of the disease in real time, weighing the risks, and, in response, updating their policies on how best to control its containment and move swiftly into community mitigation.
COVID-19 reminds us that the science necessary to solve this latest challenge, and other global problems, increasingly doesn’t happen in isolation but through a network of small geographies of innovation—areas of advanced research, rapid prototyping, and commercialization. Since the outbreak in China, innovation geographies have been leveraging their assets to better understand and find solutions to COVID-19. Their assets include pools of highly trained academic researchers; essential innovation infrastructure, such as laboratories with specific biosafety standards; the advanced technologies and Big Data needed for modeling; and a network of peers, both local and global that help us better understand the complexities of COVID-19.
COVID-19 also reminds us that innovation geographies require intentional action and continuous investment in order to deliver accelerated market solutions to health and environmental crises.