The winners of the worlds largest hackathon #EUvsVirus for innovation to fight coronavirus epidemic will be announce tomorrow Thursday 30th April 11:00 CEST on Facebook live!

The Hackathon involved 22,000 people with 2,100 projects taking place over three days 25-27 April with 37 challenge areas, which really showed how many different sectors the epidemic is affecting and the need for innovation across the board.

As editor of GenR I took part at the project of the ContentMine / openVirus team and lent a hand with coordination. openVirus is an Open Science project which indexes research literature against Wikidata terms using data mining.

Collectively we have a pretty empty toolbox in the fight against coronavirus so innovation is the name of the game. When you see the extent of the challenge areas the problem becomes even more daunting as huge knowledge chasms opens up: Health & Life, Business Continuity, Social & Political Cohesion, Remote Working & Education, and Digital Finance.

When you then realise that the majority of the people working in these sectors, who could be lending a hand for innovation, have virtually no access to the scientific knowledge being generated and which is only accessible to those working in universities it also puts into sharp relief the problems that publishers are responsible for ‘paywalls’ and it shows how vital that it is that we have 100% open research immediately.

The openVirus project is calling for 100% open research now.

You can read the openVirus submission here or watch the two minute video. Hackathon submission:

ContentMine openVirus #EUvsVirus

From openVirus

5 years ago the Liberian government shocked us by revealing that the Ebola epidemic had been predicted in an obscure paywalled scientific journal 30 years ago.

– NYT 2015,
NYT 2015

The text was clear:


A regular literature search for “Liberia” and “Ebola” would have alerted policymakers. We set out to build a universal warning system from the literature. How? We read the FULL TEXT of all published science and index it for key facts using Wikidata.

You can find out more info or volunteer via the project GitHub site

EUvsVirus is a pan-European Hackathon organized by the European Commission under the patronage of Mariya Gabriel.