IEEE Foundation COVID-19 Fund Supports Five Programs

They include humanitarian projects and educational programs

3 min read
Illustration of a hand holding a coin and a doctor's hand holding a heart.
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTE The IEEE Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund in April to support IEEE programs and initiatives that are helping members weather the pandemic.

To date, the fund has received more than US$27,000 from individual donors and philanthropic organizations worldwide.

Here is a selection of activities that have been funded:

• The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee and the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology will receive a $5,000 contribution to the groups’ IEEE SIGHT #COVID19 special-project funding. This initiative is awarding grants to IEEE volunteer-led projects that could immediately impact the fight against the coronavirus and its effects.

“IEEE HAC and IEEE SIGHT are grateful to the IEEE Foundation donors who are making it possible for grassroots IEEE volunteers to combat COVID-19 through innovative solutions in their own communities,” says IEEE Senior Member Sampath Veeraraghavan, chair of the IEEE SIGHT steering committee.

IEEE Spectrum will receive $10,000 to support its IEEE COVID-19 News and Resources hub. The hub is helping drive COVID-19 innovation through collaboration and sharing of knowledge, by serving as a central location for articles and IEEE resources that focus on the pandemic.

On the site are updates about IEEE members developing technologies to fight the virus, resources from across IEEE available to members, as well as products, services, and courses.

“The hub provides valuable COVID-19 news and information to IEEE members and the wider technology community,” says Susan Hassler, editor in chief of IEEE Spectrum. “To date, 1 million unique visitors have used the content the hub provides. And thanks to donors’ generous support, we are also planning a special print report, ‘Preparing for the Next Pandemic,’ which will appear in the October issue.”

IEEE Technical Activities will receive a $5,000 contribution to IEEE DataPort’s COVID-19 data competition, which is expected to launch later this year. The IEEE DataPort platform enables users to store, search, access, and manage standard and open-access datasets. The competition will ask contestants to analyze data on the platform with the goal of providing insights into the pandemic. The donation will be used to fund the top prize.

“The competition will engage researchers and technical experts from across the globe, with the goal of yielding data analyses that can provide benefits to all who are seeking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on society,” says IEEE Senior Member David Belanger, chair of the IEEE DataPort steering committee.

IEEE Educational Activities and the IEEE Education Society will receive $5,000 to support the next installment of their online event for university faculty members around the world, Effective Remote Instruction: Reimagining the Engineering Student Experience. This free event, running from 27 to 31 July, will equip instructors with research-driven information that can help them offer effective, remote education.

“Thanks to this grant, we will be able to provide this high-quality event, taught by experts at no cost, potentially impacting thousands of students globally during the course of the pandemic and beyond,” says IEEE Senior Member Stephen Phillips, vice president of the IEEE Educational Activities board of directors.

• The IEEE Foundation Staff Running Team will receive $1,939. The employee team was scheduled to participate in April in the Unite Half Marathon and 8K at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., but due to the pandemic, the running event was held virtually. The team’s goal had been to raise $8,000, most of which was to be donated to IEEE Smart Village, but due to the state’s mandate for people to stay home, the team fell short of its goal. The IEEE Foundation is making up the difference.

Donations to the IEEE Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund are still being accepted.

Karen Kaufman is senior manager of communications for the IEEE Foundation.

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