COVID-19 Digital Observatory awarded Open Innovation Grant from Protocol Labs Research

Last week, Protocol Labs Research announced their COVID-19 Open Innovation Grant recipients and we thrilled to announce that the Community Data Science Collective’s COVID-19 Digital Observatory is among the awarded projects!

Protocol Labs works to improve internet technologies through open source protocols, systems, and tools. The organization initially grew out of efforts to apply blockchain tools to support distributed file sharing infrastructure. Their research group, Protocol Labs Research, created the COVID-19 Open Innovation Grants program “to surface and support open-source projects working on tools to help humanity through present and future pandemics.”

Among the ten projects supported under the program, others aim to develop open source medical devices (such as an origami respirator!), contact tracing infrastructure, device development and testing, and engineering collaboration. We feel grateful and humbled to be in the company of these diverse efforts to apply open collaboration to the response to COVID-19!

In the case of the COVID-19 Digital Observatory, we plan  to use the funds provided by the award to build out the resources we have already started to aggregate and release. In particular, we will build additional infrastructure to process and archive data from Reddit and other social media sources as well as search engine results pages (SERPs) for COVID-related queries.

In addition to folks in the collective, the proposal was successful through the efforts of Jason Baumgartner from Pushshift, who is co-leading the observatory work, as well as Marysia Galent, Research Administrator at Northwestern University, whose expert guidance helped make the grant application possible.

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