‘Science is the only exit strategy from COVID-19’ according to the OECD.
COVID-19 has had an unprecedentedly wide impact across the globe, but alongside the vast negatives of the pandemic have been huge developments in collaborative research. From the rapid development of vaccines and PCR and antibody testing to the multitudes of innovative products and processes created to fight the pandemic, it is undeniable that the laboratory industry has pulled together in this crisis.
By necessity, global scientific collaboration has increased to improve understanding of COVID-19 in a time-critical manner. This ‘no choice’ situation has led to the possibility of more effective responses to future pandemics and global health crises, with the foundation set for improved international collaboration and coordination, funding and shared research.
The recent Science and Technology Innovations 2021 report from the OECD confirms this, and warns that the economic issues following the pandemic could lead to a decrease in spending for research and development, but the OECD states that now is the time for reform.
So what can we do? The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic still leaves us with many uncertainties, but the report highlights the importance of governments continuing to support science and innovation post-pandemic. Science, technology and innovation policies should be re-examined to assist governments with their ability to ‘lead innovation efforts towards the goals of sustainability, inclusivity and resiliency.’
The collaborations that have come from the pandemic highlight the best in our community, the innate desire to support and help others in need and the undeniable impact the scientific community can have in a crisis.
Lab Innovations will be putting a spotlight on some key collaborators throughout the pandemic on Thursday the 18th of March in the upcoming edition of Lab Live: Collaboration is Key. Stay tuned for more details.
Charlotte Taylor, Marketing Executive, Lab Innovations