Achieving a goal is always cause for pride in a job well-done, especially one that involves a global humanitarian effort. But meeting that goal and surpassing it by 100%? That’s how Dukes do it.
The JMU Supply Chain Club team and their advisor and professor of management Bill Ritchie recently loaded their second of two 40’ containers filled with much needed medical supplies destined for Africa. Along with Dr. Mark Smith, executive director of local nonprofit Mihret Medical Supply Group, the group were finishing up a humanitarian project that was a year in the making, called the Congo Ebola Medical Relief project.
In the fall of 2019, the JMU Supply Chain Club leadership team met with Smith and developed the goal to source, store and ship medical equipment and supplies to African hospitals dealing with the Ebola crisis. At the time, they hoped to find enough supplies to fill one 40’ shipping container.
They started by approaching Mike Hendrickson, COO of Matchbox Realty, who donated space to warehouse the supplies, and the team loaded it with exam tables and a surgical microscope donated by Harrisonburg’s Dr. Conrad Zapanta. Five months later they began filling a new, larger space provided by Interchange Group with donations from Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, and Carillion Clinic in Roanoke.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began, international borders in some African countries were shut down and warehouse security increased, causing concern about the viability of meeting the project’s goals. During this time however, Smith identified additional medical equipment needs in Ethiopia and decided to add this destination to the project’s original goals.
In early August, club members Bhumik Shah and Jess Lewis along with Ritchie and Smith loaded the first of the 40’ containers with supplies, and within a week it was on its way to the port at Djibouti and ultimately inland to Ethiopia. Dr. Tilahun Goshu, who is affiliated with the Ethiopian hospitals, was on hand to help identify critical equipment needed for the shipment. The second full container, the result of hard work and extending their previous goal, is bound for the Congo.
Lewis was enthusiastic about the venture, saying “Our project with Mihret Medical is a great experience for the members of our club. It provides the opportunity to learn about supply chain operations while giving back to people in need.”
Geollect has been recognised as providing groundbreaking services in support of tracking COVID-19 and impacts to shipping on a global scale. Follow the link to read the original article on gCaptain.
"In recent months organizations like the Royal Navy, maritime heavyweights like IGP&I, the US Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center, among others, have been partnering with startups and groundbreaking new companies like the UK based Geollect and the MIT based startup blkSAIL to develop maritime COVID tracking dashboards, maps, and AI algorithms. This week the US Navy joins the fight with new programs for maritime innovation."
The Lloyd’s re/insurance market announced the latest cohort of insurtech disruptors that will join its Lloyd’s Lab innovation accelerator program with a focus on COVID-19 products and solutions.
The insurtechs will look at new types of insurance to support the COVID-19 response; help the Lloyd’s market to assess COVID-19 risks, and help Lloyd’s customers to adapt to a changing workplace. The insurtech startups will focus on three key themes: data and models; new insurance products and markets, and response to COVID-19.
The new Lloyd’s Lab teams will join Praedicat, Metabiota and Dialogue, three teams specially selected in June to work on Lloyd’s COVID-19 response.
More than 140 applications were received from across the world for the fifth cohort of the Lloyd’s Lab, which begins Sept. 7, 2020. The 10 successful teams were selected after presenting their ideas in a competitive process during a virtual pitch day on July 29, 2020. This is the second completely virtual Lloyd’s Lab cohort following the successful completion of cohort four.
In July, the Lloyd’s Lab ran its first “Fusion” program, a new three-day event designed to test early-stage start-up ideas aimed at dealing with COVID-19 and other systemic risks. Three of the teams who took part in Fusion – Ryskex, Hivemind and Geollect – have been successful in their application to the fifth cohort of the lab.
In the first four cohorts, start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses have presented ideas ranging from live-streaming drones to event-based parametric insurance solutions for catastrophic flooding and on-demand insurance for the gig economy. Examples of success stories so far can be seen in alumni members such as ClimaCell, Parsyl, Layr and Flock.
“This cohort of insurtechs will play an important role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to help us develop the new models and insurance products of the future. We will undoubtedly need new products and services for insurers to deliver confidence and security against future waves of this pandemic and other systemic risks of the scale we have seen in 2020,” commented Trevor Maynard, head of Innovation.
Lloyd’s described the 10 teams selected for cohort five of Lloyd’s Lab as follows:
by Jason Murtagh
Back in the last few days of March I received a call from Rich & Cate Gwilliam, founders of Geollect. Rich & I had served together in the Royal Navy and since retiring from the service we had kept in touch; from a distance I had witnessed the birth, growth and success of Geollect. I was therefore surprised and flattered when Rich & Cate asked for my assistance in a project which had just landed.
During the conversation I became acutely aware that I was relatively naive in terms of understanding Geospatial Intelligence & Analysis and I could be entering an environment which would be far removed from any of my previous experiences. However, in my unconscious I kept hearing the same statement. During the later stage of my military service I had received this piece of sage advice, ‘don’t become fixated on what you want to do when you leave but do define exactly what you’re not prepared to do. You don’t know what you don’t know, so be open to opportunities’. It is with a sense of deep embarrassment that I cannot recall who passed this piece of wisdom; if you’re reading this then you have my greatest respect & thanks. Within the space of a few minutes and under the spell of Rich & Cate, I had decided to walk the talk and be true to my inner voice. This opportunity did not fall into the list of things which I was not prepared to do.
Five months later I can say with ultimate confidence that joining Geollect was the right decision and has reinvigorated my desire to grow and develop both professionally and personally. The authenticity, humility and confidence of the Geollect family is infectious. The strength, depth and cognitive diversity of the team has had a most positive impact on my own thought processes and the way in which I address the challenges I face on a daily basis. I struggle to recall a day when I have not left the office, albeit the virtual version, with a smile and keen sense to get stuck into the next day's tasks.
I would like to thank the Geollect family thank for your patience, perseverance and humour. I’m here for as long as you will have me!
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