Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Rolls Royce, Google Cloud, IBM, others partner to model COVID-19 economic recovery, return to work

The group, called Emer2gent, brings together multiple analytics technologies and experts to figure out ways to support business and government efforts to recover.

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Rolls Royce and a bevy of data science players including IBM, Google Cloud, Truata and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics have formed a group to collaborate on modeling the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, called Emer2gent, brings together multiple analytics technologies and experts to figure out ways to support business and government efforts to recover. Early alliance members include Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, IBM, Google Cloud, The Data City, Truata, Rolls-Royce and ODI Leeds. Whitespace, an innovation specialist, will coordinate the group.

Also: Data analytics: A guide for business leaders (free PDF) TechRepublic | Data scientists, your country needs you now | As COVID-19 data sets become more accessible, novel coronavirus pandemic may be most visualized ever  

From a data perspective, Emer2gent will combine economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behavior and sentiment data. The combination of data is critical to modeling economic recovery since consumer behavior may influence how fast a rebound occurs. For instance, consumers may be wary of crowds and refrain from restaurants, bars, sports stadiums and movies.

The effort rhymes with similar efforts in Asia. For instance, the Asian Development Bank is working with Qlik.org to model near-term economic needs, long-term health investmetn and deploying resources strategically. The goal is to collect data to be ready for more outbreaks, address global health security and minimize the hit to the economy

According to Emer2gent, the goal is to create models to get people back to work and identify leading indicators. These indicators would ideally influence business and government investments and actions.

On the technology front, Emer2gent will use Google Cloud Public Datasets and Google Cloud BigQuery as well as IBM Cloud Pak for Data with access to Big Blue's Data Science Elite team. Leeds will provide research from multiple disciplines with Rolls Royce providing its data lab expertise on industrial technology. Truata will provide data protection and The Data City will offer real-time data on the economy.