The world is at war with coronavirus. Without any cure and vaccine, the Covid-19 virus has wreaked havoc. The situation is unprecedented because the nations are forced to choose between saving lives and livelihoods. The Economist estimates that up to 80 % of a typical population can be infected by Covid-19 (without social distancing), and 4.4% of them will be seriously sick (approx. 45 million in India). Livelihood of thousands of communities is affected due to lock down. According to UNESCO, school closures in 160 countries has impacted over 87% of student population. In addition, industries and research labs are closed, disrupting scientific research. It is clear that scientists and the industries that serve scientific community are also being greatly impacted. During these difficult times, we at Ducom Instruments can't help but ask ourselves: "What are our responsibilities towards the scientific community? How can we make things better?" and we feel we are beginning to find some answers. Here they are:
Charles E. Fritz, a scientific expert on disaster, described that there is merging of individual and societal needs during disasters. He goes on to say that “this provides a feeling of belonging and a sense of unity rarely achieved under normal circumstances.”
This pandemic is a rare calamity and we feel that the stakeholders in research (Ex. business leaders, professors, scientific instrument and services providers, scientists, technicians, research institutes and governments) should come together to help the scientific community.
During this pandemic, nationwide lockdown is a harsh reality. Most of the meet-and-greet type conferences and events are cancelled. Hesitation to travel and gather will linger even after things limp back to normalcy. There needs to be a way to keep science and research moving forward - an alternative platform to learn, collaborate and exchange ideas. A digital solution would be to host virtual conferences using high speed video streaming services. Ducom Digital, along with academic professors and leading industrial scientists are collaborating to deliver a series of Virtual Tribology Conference, that you can attend from the safety of our home.
Crisis can also create opportunities. However, taking those opportunities to move forward requires courage, empathy and a mindset of benefiting society at large.
With companies and labs in lockdown, and scientists and technicians working from home, a new reality has emerged. Working in remotely has been thrust upon us in a way that left many of us unprepared. We have also begun to learn that with the right tools, quite a high level of productivity can be achieved by travelling less or not at all. But what are these tools?
Labs that embrace digital tools that are easy to use, deploy and most of all secure will transition into the new age of distributed or remote working. Researchers can plan and complete their everyday activities when working from home - the importance of which would have been hard convey to many of us just a few weeks ago.
In this regard, Ducom Digital has developed digital tools that can assist in maintaining productivity even when working remotely. In fact, our digital tools were launched at the beginning of 2020 for lab managers and lab technicians, giving them flexibility to work remotely. Digital Twins of our lubricant testers are used at remote locations to gain instant insight into performance of our instruments and the quality of test data in the lab. Distant collaborations are possible through secure remote access to research labs.
In this time of crisis, we have decided to offer our service (Digital Twins) free of cost to our customers for the foreseeable future. This is a time where we make choices that show who we truly are. Some see this as an opportunity to profit off of desperation by hoarding food supplies, masks and ventilators, and others see an opportunity to help. We choose to be the latter.
We believe that this tool will give those that choose to use it, an advantage when the fog of COVID-19 lifts. It will help them come out of this crisis stronger and better prepared.
This crisis will end, sooner or later. When it does, we cannot assume that the process of research will be back to normal. It won't be business as usual. There will be clear winners and losers. There will be those that fare better than the others. Embracing a digital transformation could be what determines who does well and who chooses to remain unprepared.
We at Ducom choose to continue innovating. And we invite you to join us in ushering in the future.
For a limited time, we are giving away our Digital Twin services to businesses and labs that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us to see how we can help.