The Avast Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Prague-based digital security company, has announced commitments totaling $25 million in support of global efforts to develop treatments for COVID-19.
Commitments announced by the foundation include $12 million in support of the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, an initiative launched in March by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to identify and drive the development of treatments for COVID-19. Another $8 million will support efforts of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance COVID-19 testing, treatments, and prevention through the timely development of vaccines. The remaining $5 million will support a number of community-based and scientific responses to the public health crisis, including the provision of computing resources for Folding@home's supercomputing program, which is focused on finding a cure for the disease, and the development and production of a new prototype lung ventilator.
With the commitments, Avast has joined Wellcome's COVID-Zero coalition, which calls on the private sector to donate at least 10 percent of their crisis management budgets to help address the pandemic.
"As a tech company, we are naturally drawn to looking at initiatives where research and innovation can drive real impact," wrote Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek. "We believe that a rigorous, scientific approach provides the best exit strategy for this crisis and only a prudent, systematic, and well-funded approach to testing, treatment, and vaccine development will lead to the minimization of lockdowns and disruptions, and ultimately, save lives."
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