Creating a Safe New World
The discussion which took place during a virtual session of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020) also concluded the acceleration and scale-up of digital technologies will hold the key to creating more resilience within critical infrastructure systems to prepare better for similar shocks to Covid-19 in future.
Bernardo Mariano said: "Today, countries are racing towards finding a vaccine. The real challenge is the supply chain – how do you scale up the production to make sure it reaches the whole world. Scale-up of innovation at every level, I think is an area, we should do better", before adding that the pandemic had exposed that digital transformation in the healthcare sector lags significantly behind other sectors, which needs to be rapidly addressed.
Richard Clegg added he believed it is imperative governments harness the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics for the betterment of humanity and to make the world a safer place. A study by Lloyd's Register Foundation revealed that the market for emerging safetytech technologies could be worth up to $863 billion by 2023, also arguing: "With better insight, we could make better interventions. The digital universe is growing all the time, and we need mechanisms to be able to share this data for epidemiological studies and developing AI tools to look for patterns in that data. This is an international challenge requiring international solutions, and that's where collaboration needs to happen."
Preparing for a potential 'second wave' of COVID-19
Mariano argued that although access to COVID-19 tools is essential, the focus should continue to be on testing to prepare for a potential second wave of the pandemic. We need to develop rapid-test kits which are affordable and easily accessible to all. "Rapid tests can be available everywhere – in all industries, at every entry point, in any company – to make sure that anybody who is infected are quickly traced, and the infection is contained as quickly as possible. Innovation around rapid tests with wide availability is a key area that I believe where the private sector and government need to invest heavily. This will not only impact tourism but every sector," he said.
Addressing the trend of countries considering the use of Immunity Passports, he cautioned the trend would still put a strain on health systems to generate, test and create passports when rapid test kits can be made available everywhere.
Mariano also urged the private, public sectors and academia to come together and quickly to learn the lessons of the pandemic - and a "new normal" that will include adopting and adapting to the new ways of working and staying safe while enhancing health and safety measures at a factory level to ensure production, economy, revenue and outcome are not gravely impacted as they are today.
Hosted by journalist and news anchor Laura Buckwell, the virtual panel discussion on 'From factory floor to the EXIT door: risk and compliance in a post-COVID-19 world' is the third session of the #GMIS2020 Digital Series that will lead up to the Virtual Summit on September 4-5, 2020.
The session is available to watch, on-demand at https://bit.ly/2YHVHyY.