Earlier this week, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) officially launched its new program, CDL Recovery, focused on transforming tech innovations to aid in the current global crisis.
The Toronto-founded accelerator announced the program in early April as a way to rapidly turn innovations into useful products and services that could potentially aid in public health and economic recovery.
“[We are] redeploying our resources to focus on the current crisis by applying the CDL model.”
On Thursday, CDL officially kicked off its program after conceiving, designing, and launching the program within a period of eight weeks.
“CDL’s mission is to accelerate the commercialization of science for the betterment of humankind,” CDL founder Ajay Agrawal said in a statement to BetaKit. “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.”
While the program has started with some startups that have already been chosen to participate, applications for CDL Recovery are still open.
The COVID-19 accelerator is open to individuals and teams developing innovations that can directly address critical health or economic recovery challenges created by COVID-19. It will follow the traditional CDL program structure and is open to all types of innovative teams, including startups, corporations, informal collaborations, sole inventors, social impact ventures, and not-for-profit initiatives. The idea is to “anticipate and address” some of the most pressing needs that will arise over the next six to eighteen months.
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CDL Recovery is focused on information-based solutions, with the accelerator noting that this does not include health solutions such as vaccines or PPE, automation that enables physical distancing, or goods and services that will experience an increase in demand due to physical-distancing restrictions. CDL noted “these are important and will be included in the core CDL streams that will resume in the fall.”
Examples of innovations that the COVID-19 program will focus on include, “managerial decision-making tools” such as swab-based tests that predict whether the coronavirus is present in an individual, contact tracing, image analysis of people density or proximity, symptom monitoring, and workplace monitoring of air or sewage.
Traditionally a regional-based accelerator program, CDL has foregone that approach for CDL Recovery and is running the virtual program globally.