New York | October 26, 2021 – Today, Epiverse—a new pandemic response consortium led by data.org—welcomes grantee, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with an award of £3M. This funding marks Epiverse’s first investment since the UK government invited data.org to lead the effort to ensure safe access to data and data analysis for health emergencies, in response to a request from the Science Academies of G7 nations (S7).
The award was granted to a global team, including researchers from LSHTM and the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia (MRCG) at LSHTM, whose work takes a community-supported approach to outbreak analytics software development, and aims to fundamentally change how data is used in global infectious disease response.
This collaborative approach fulfills a key element of the Epiverse initiative, which calls for co-creation of tools and infrastructure, particularly in low and middle-income countries where there is limited access to data analysis.
“This funding will help us accelerate development of tools that will ultimately be maintained and used by a globally diverse community of researchers, scientists and practitioners,” said Dr. Adam Kucharski, Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Co-Lead of the initiative. “This is a unique opportunity for truly scalable and sustainable epidemic analysis – it will change the way data tackles global challenges.”
With this partnership, LSHTM brings a breadth of expertise and experience in epidemiological modeling and open-source software creation and management—a rare and robust combination. Building on deep engagement with LSHTM’s MRC Unit The Gambia, a leader in public health research in West Africa, the consortium will work with academic and research centers in the ‘Global South’ advancing data analysis relevant to low- and middle-income countries.
In addition to deep domain leadership, the consortium will support the wider community of epidemic analysts and modelers who will be critical to shaping, reusing, and sustaining the toolkit.
“Working closely with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and MRC The Gambia at LSHTM signals the importance of subject-matter experts in rethinking how we apply data science to solve some of the biggest social challenges. data.org’s role will be to connect these world-class academic teams with specialists in other sectors, from technologists, to communicators, to policymakers,” said Danil Mikhailov, Executive Director, data.org. “This partnership is the beginning of a growing effort to convene some of the brightest, most diverse minds globally to enable data-driven solutions in the social sector.”
Epiverse is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute and Wellcome. It’s an interdisciplinary collective of researchers and scientists aimed at improving epidemic response and developing the epidemiological software tools of the future. The consortium’s focus is co-creating open-source software to enable distributed data analysis. Currently, its primary concentration is to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other infectious disease outbreaks, with a long-term goal of addressing a broad range of societal challenges.
data.org is committed to democratizing data, for good. Founded by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, data.org is a platform for partnerships, and works with organizations all over the world to increase the use of data science to tackle society’s most pressing challenges and improve the lives of millions of people. For more information, visit data.org and follow us on Twitter @datadotorg.
About the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a world-leading centre for research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. LSHTM has a strong international presence with over 3,500 staff and 5,000 students working in the UK and countries around the world, and an annual research income of £180 million.
LSHTM is one of the highest-rated research institutions in the UK, is partnered with two MRC University Units in The Gambia and Uganda, and was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2016. Our mission is to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide; working in partnership to achieve excellence in public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice.