The 'Tech against Corona' Initiative of Dutch tech companies offers free support in the fight against the corona virus. To this end, an online meeting took place on Wednesday 25 March between various tech companies and civil servants, including members of the Parliament. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss how these companies can contribute to the fight against the corona virus through their services and products. Aim is that governments, aid workers, care providers and hospitals can make free use of the knowledge, skills and algorithms of these companies.
For example, Cybersprint recently investigated fake RIVM websites and covid-19 malware attacks against hospitals, together with Huib Modderkolk (investigative journalist). Cybersprint offered to protect these hospitals. In addition, Compumatica will improve the security of the internet connections of home workers in crucial professions. Also Tymlez will help set up blockchain websites that bring together supply & demand of relief supplies. Traxion can help with the rapid addition of large and varying amounts of volunteers to online systems, and KPN and Microsoft are using their knowledge for ideas how to connect new technologies to existing systems.
Chris van Dam (Member of Parliament, CDA): “It's fantastic that these companies are willing to assist the government. These smart tech talents are desperately needed right now.”
In a defense context, the Royal Netherlands Army is already fully engaged in providing crisis support in the form of planners, medical workers and specialist equipment (including respiratory equipment). The planners are deployed at both national and regional level.
Colonel van Dalen: "Behind the scenes, there is even more capacity in many forms to be deployed on instructions from administrative and medical authorities. The Ministry of Defense plays an important supporting role in the fight against Corona and collaborates extensively with the business community in other areas as well."
The "Tech against Corona" Initiative already involves more than 10 companies and is an initiative of Public Matters, a public affairs and lobby consultancy. Following a similar idea in the United Kingdom. The goal is to make as many concrete and feasible agreements as possible between governments and tech companies. Participant from the Government side are: Min J&V, BZK, EZK, VWS and Defense. HSD Office is also involved and participates in the project Board.
Jan Middendorp (Member of Parliament, VVD): “We stay at home to keep each other safe. Technology can help us. It is therefore more important than ever in this exceptional time for governments and tech companies to work together.”
Source (in Dutch): Elisabeth van der Steenhoven & Public Matters