30 September 2022
by Alex Brinded

Systemic barriers limited engineers' pandemic response

Call for action from policymakers, business and academic leaders to ensure future resilience.

two people in masks bumping elbows by way of greeting
© maximeutopix / unsplash

A review by the international collaboration Engineering X has identified key vulnerabilities of engineering responses to the pandemic.

The report finds that systemic barriers - including a lack of collaboration mechanisms, insufficient data and skills, and limited understanding of the role of engineering - hampered engineers from delivering effective responses to Covid-19.

Engineering X was founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the engineering focused charity, Lloyd's Register Foundation

The conclusions of the global review were presented yesterday to senior delegates from 30 countries during the annual conference of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences in Versailles, France.

The Global review of the engineering response to COVID-19: lessons learned for preparedness and resilience was produced in partnership with the consultancy Dalberg Advisors.

The report highlights six major challenges during the pandemic where engineers made key contributions: providing high-quality and timely data; innovating rapidly to provide novel health solutions; designing products and services for diverse environments and user bases; pivoting existing industrial capacity and building new capacity; upgrading and streamlining global supply chains, and bolstering and ensuring the resilience of societal systems and infrastructure.

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Alex Brinded

Staff Writer