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Vale calls on Canadian brainpower to combat COVID-19

Sudbury miner launches innovation fund for enterprising healthcare solutions
Vale control room 2

Sudbury nickel miner Vale has launched a US$1-million fund to invite businesses, institutions, universities and professionals to bring forth innovative solutions that can be commercialized to combat COVID-19.

The Vale COVID-19 Challenge is open in Canada and Brazil with each selected solution eligible to receive up to US$200,000.

The mining company has recruited experts from the healthcare sector who will assist in the technical evaluation of the submissions.

Joining Vale on the Canadian selection team are: Dr. Ken Jenkins of Horizon Occupational Health Solutions, Dr. Farrell Cahill of Medisys, Dr. Greg Ross of Health Sciences North in Sudbury, and Don Duval of NORCAT.

The deadline for online submissions is April 9. Selected applications will be announced on April 24. 

The Vale-led panel is specifically looking for solutions that can:

• Allow access to reliable information;

• Leverage existing data to improve what we know about the virus;

• Immediately help protect people involved in essential services;

• Help guarantee the supply of protective equipment;

• Allow basic access to sanitation and hygiene;

• Provide geographical reference of people affected by COVID-19;

• Identify risk zones; and

• Improve isolation areas.

The Vale COVID-19 Challenge is accepting submission in three categories:

• Risk Monitoring and Prevention

• Patient Monitoring

• Open Challenge

“Around the globe, industries and individuals alike are working diligently to find innovative solutions to combat this invisible enemy,” said Dino Otranto, Vale’s chief operation officer for North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries, in an April 3 statement.

“Through this challenge, Vale will be able to support the activation of solutions that have a real potential to positively impact the trends of this virus.”

“By launching this challenge globally, we are hoping to expand its reach and accelerate the identification of solutions for our workplace and for the communities in which we live,” said Afzal Jessa, Vale’s Chief Digital officer.