Categories: General

Mozilla announces the first three COVID-19 Solutions Fund Recipients

In less than two weeks, Mozilla received more than 160 applications from 30 countries for its COVID-19 Solutions Fund Awards. Today, the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) is excited to announce its first three recipients. This Fund was established at the end of March, to offer up to $50,000 each to open source technology projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

VentMon, created by Public Invention in Austin, Texas, improves testing of open-source emergency ventilator designs that are attempting to address the current and expected shortage of ventilators.

The same machine and software will also provide monitoring and alarms for critical care specialists using life-critical ventilators. It is a simple inline device plugged into the airway of an emergency ventilator, that measures flow and pressure (and thereby volume), making sure the ventilator is performing to specification, such as the UK RVMS spec. If a ventilator fails, VentMon raises an audio and internet alarm. It can be used for testing before deployment, as well as ICU patient monitoring. The makers received a $20,000 award which enables them to buy parts for the Ventmon to support more than 20 open source engineering teams trying to build ventilators.

Based in the Bay Area, Recidiviz is a tech non-profit that’s built a modeling tool that helps prison administrators and government officials forecast the impact of COVID-19 on their prisons and jails. This data enables them to better assess changes they can make to slow the spread, like reducing density in prison populations or granting early release to people who are deemed to pose low risk to public safety.

It is impossible to physically distance in most prison settings, and so incarcerated populations are at dangerous risk of COVID-19 infection. Recidiviz’s tool was downloaded by 47 states within 48hrs of launch. The MOSS Committee approved a $50,000 award.

“We want to make it easier for data to inform everything that criminal justice decision-makers do,” said Clementine Jacoby, CEO and Co-Founder of Recidiviz. “The pandemic made this mission even more critical and this funding will help us bring our COVID-19 model online. Already more than thirty states have used the tool to understand where the next outbreak may happen or how their decisions can flatten the curve and reduce impact on community hospital beds, incarcerated populations, and staff.”

COVID-19 Supplies NYC is a project created by 3DBrooklyn, producing around 2,000 face shields a week, which are urgently needed in the city. They will use their award to make and distribute more face shields, using 3D printing technology and an open source design. They also maintain a database that allows them to collect requests from institutions that need face shields as well as offers from people with 3D printers to produce parts for the face shields. The Committee approved a $20,000 award.

“Mozilla has long believed in the power of open source technology to better the internet and the world,” said Jochai Ben-Avie, Head of International Public Policy and Administrator of the Program. “It’s been inspiring to see so many open source developers step up and collaborate on solutions to increase the capacity of healthcare systems to cope with this crisis.”

In the coming weeks Mozilla will announce the remaining winning applicants. The application form has been closed for now, owing to the high number of submissions already being reviewed.