March 31, 2022
Deutsche Welle recently produced an interview featuring insight from Doug Hannah, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Innovation, discussing ways the pandemic has spurred scientific innovation outside of formal institutions.
Doug discussed several inventions created during the Covid-19 pandemic that were built to improve public health and provide people around the world with low-cost aid. Such inventions included DIY (Do It Yourself) filtration systems that could be built for just $80 using materials from a local hardware store, UV disinfectant chambers for reusing and sterilizing personal protective equipment, low-cost oxygen concentrators, and many more.
Doug and his team also researched the social innovations brought to the forefront during the pandemic. One specific example included groups coming together to organize complex supply chains that found and redistributed professional-grade N-95 masks to local hospitals. Hannah claimed that the process of helping people through schools and hospitals with these innovations was ultimately slowed down or brought to a halt by strict rules and regulations, but that those rules and regulations have a role to play in ensuring the quality of all materials are up to par.
One main conclusion Doug was able to take away from all the research he and his team compiled revolved around how impressive it was to invent and execute these helpful strategies and devices during such a troubling time.
“There was a tremendous amount of ingenuity just getting everyone to work together under really difficult conditions.”