Pandemic Response Programs

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, and MilliporeSigma—the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany—have come together to collaborate on multiple pandemic response programs.

Pandemic Response Supermind Activation and Report

In May 2020, we convened more than 180 experts and global leaders in science, healthcare, public policy, and other sectors for a three-week exercise to address the following challenge:

How can we develop pandemic resilience—the ability for society to recover quickly from global disease outbreaks—both in resolving the current COVID-19 pandemic and in building the public health and other infrastructure to prepare for future pandemics?  

We activated the expert group—or ‘Supermind’—to share their ideas on how to address this challenge in five domain areas: (1) diagnostics and monitoring; (2) viral transmission control; (3) therapies and vaccines; (4) validating, sharing, and communicating scientific insights; and (5) pandemic preparedness.

Pandemic Response Catalyst Conversations 

This series of virtual events broadens the conversation around individual technical challenge areas identified in the Pandemic Response Supermind Activation. During each session, thought leaders from across the scientific community take an in-depth look at the current state-of-affairs in the relevant topic area, share data-driven insights and discuss the latest innovations and proposed solutions to some of today’s toughest challenges in pandemic response. Each session includes live audience Q&A.

Pandemic Response CoLab

Based on actionable themes that emerged during the Pandemic Response Supermind Activation, we are generating a series of open, crowdsourcing challenges for global communities to contribute to via our newly launched platform, the Pandemic Response CoLab. MilliporeSigma is a founding member of the platform, which helps individuals and groups work together to solve practical problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the ideas and contribute to the open challenges at