Tracing app challenge, Innovation Awards and more: best of the week’s news !!

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korea had the worst outbreak outside China of Covid-19. The government seized data and immediately put together and implemented a test-and-trace system. This country of 51 million people has recorded 273 deaths to date, with only a couple in the last five days.

The UK has a population of nearly 67 million – 31%  more than South Korea – and has a recorded a death toll of 40,000 (although there are another 20,000 over the seasonal average that are unaccounted for) and this is around 14,600 %  more than South Korea. These are big numbers and, as is often said, every single one is a tragedy in its own right. Which is why our government needs to stop blundering about and do something.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) does good things – we are a better country because of them. The pandemic has also revealed that there is a plethora of criminal opportunists who have no morals & regard Covid-19 as an opportunity to pray on a vulnerable society – and the country is a worse and more cautious place because of them.

There’s a choice here: we could either, argue about data protection and  continue with an inadequate testing regime and let more people die. Or we could do it properly, right now, and save lives.

We’ve revealed the new categories in this year’s Innovation Awards, relaunched under the E&T banner. The E&T Innovation Awards 2020 will be looking towards reward a whole range of brilliant talent and ideas, but we hope to get exciting entries from people and projects working on the pandemic and its side-effects. Let’s show engineers can play their part, whether it’s for life and death in the ‘Protecting Society and Saving Lives’ category or making difficult times a little bit easier in the ‘Tech for Good’ category. We also have new categories to recognise everything from today’s great leaders to tomorrow’s tech giants. The awards are free to enter now, so check them out and plan your entries. I hope to see you at the Awards in November.

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