In a race against time, the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) yesterday kicked off its new RECOVERY program. The program was conceived, designed, built, and launched in eight weeks. Why the rush? Estimates of the MONTHLY cost of the crisis range from $350 billion globally to$1 trillion for the US alone. Either way, the costs are significant.
CDL Founder Ajay Agrawal explains: “This crisis is novel. Novel crises require novel responses. Novel responses require innovation, often predicated on insights from science. CDL’s mission is to accelerate the commercialization of science for the betterment of humankind. Right now, that means redeploying our resources to focus on the current crisis by applying the CDL model and community to rapidly translate science into solutions.”
CDL originally launched with a broad mandate to accelerate a wide range of COVID-19-related solutions. We learned a lot over the past four weeks. Today, we announce a much sharper focus, described in our CDL Recovery thesis. This morning, the MIT Technology Review published an essay that describes the framework upon which the thesis is based.
CDL Recovery is focused on the full stack of information-based solutions to accelerate the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. These include, for example, managerial decision-making tools based on: (1) swab-based tests that predict whether the coronavirus is present in an individual, (2) contact tracing, (3) image analysis of people density or proximity, (4) symptom monitoring, and (5) workplace monitoring of air or sewage. This list is illustrative, not exhaustive.
CDL Recovery continues to welcome applications here.
The crisis is not only urgent and novel, it’s also global. To that end, CDL disbanded its traditional location-based programming and designed this program to run globally. Mentors rolled up their sleeves and got to work this week from London (Irina Haivas, Principal of investment firm Atomico), Paris (Eric Hautemont, Cofounder and CEO of Days of Wonder and Ray Dream), Stockholm (Jane Walerud, Partner at investment firm Walerud Ventures), Bath (Chris Deverell, former Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command), Basel (Vreni Schoenenberger, Global Head of Public Affairs in Neuroscience at Novartis), San Francisco (James Hardiman, Partner at investment firm DCVC), Seattle (Amit Mital, former CTO at Symantec), Atlanta (Brenda Fitzgerald, former Director of the Centers for Disease Control), Boston (Dawn Bell, Chief Scientific Officer, Novartis), Hong Kong (Tytus Michalski, Managing Partner at investment firm Fresco Capital), Halifax (Pam Winsor, former Chief Marketing Officer for Medtronic), Toronto (Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station), and Vancouver (Colin Harris, Cofounder of PMC-Sierra), among other locations and including many other mentors.
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program focused on the development and scaling of early-stage, science-based ventures. It is operated by eight universities: University of Oxford, HEC Paris, Georgia Institute of Technology, Dalhousie University, HEC Montreal, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, and the founding institution, University of Toronto.