Mozilla Announces First Three Recipients Of COVID-19 Solutions Fund

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  • The COVID-19 Solutions Fund aims to provide awards of up to $50,000 each to open-source technology projects working towards the COVID-19 pandemic
  • In the coming weeks, Mozilla will announce the remaining winning applicants

Mozilla has announced the first three COVID-19 Solutions Fund Recipients. A month back it had announced the creation of a COVID-19 Solutions Fund as part of the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS). It aimed to provide awards of up to $50,000 each to open-source technology projects working towards the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. The first three recipients include VentMon, created by Public Invention in Austin, Texas, Recidiviz based in the Bay area, and 3DBrooklyn for the COVID-19 Supplies NYC project.

VentMon, created by Public Invention in Austin, Texas, improves the testing of open-source emergency ventilator designs that are attempting to address the current and expected shortage of ventilators. The same machine and software also provide monitoring and alarms for critical care specialists using life-critical ventilators. It is an inline device plugged into the airway of an emergency ventilator, that measures flow and pressure (and thereby volume). It makes sure that the ventilator is performing to specification, such as the UK RVMS spec.

Impact of COVID-19 on prisons and jails

It can be used for testing before deployment and ICU patient monitoring. The makers received a $20,000 award which will enable them to buy parts for the Ventmon to support more than 20 open source engineering teams trying to build ventilators.

Recidiviz is a tech non-profit that has built a modeling tool that helps prison administrators and government officials forecast the impact of COVID-19 on their prisons and jails. The data equips them to better assess changes they can make to slow the spread. These can be like reducing density in prison populations or granting early release to people who are deemed to pose a low risk to public safety. The MOSS Committee approved a $50,000 award. Recidiviz’s tool has been downloaded by 47 states within 48 hours of launch.

Clementine Jacoby, CEO, and co-founder of Recidiviz said, “We want to make it easier for data to inform everything that criminal justice decision-makers do. The pandemic made this mission even more critical and this funding will help us bring our COVID-19 model online. Already more than thirty states have used the tool to understand where the next outbreak may happen or how their decisions can flatten the curve and reduce impact on community hospital beds, incarcerated populations, and staff.”

3D printing technology

COVID-19 Supplies NYC is a project created by 3DBrooklyn. It has produced around 2,000 face shields a week, which are urgently needed in the city. They said that they will use the reward to make and distribute more face shields, using 3D printing technology and an open source design. They also maintain a database that equips them to collect requests from institutions that need face shields and offers from people with 3D printers to produce parts for the face shields. It received a $20,000 award.

Jochai Ben-Avie, head of international public policy and administrator of the program said, “Mozilla has long believed in the power of open source technology to better the internet and the world,” said Jochai Ben-Avie, Head of International Public Policy and Administrator of the Program. “It’s been inspiring to see so many open source developers step up and collaborate on solutions to increase the capacity of healthcare systems to cope with this crisis.”

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