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The world continues to grapple with the profound and unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which by January 2021 had infected more than 90 million people worldwide and taken over 1.9 million lives. The crisis quickly mobilized action by universities, industry, and federal, state, and local governments to organize resources and networks; instigate new partnerships; adapt to changing and uncertain circumstances; and innovate solutions to mounting public health and economic challenges. The crisis has also catalyzed broader conversations about the pace of science, the agility of scientific collaboration and partnership, the importance of international scientific coordination, and the significance of the public value of science.

The Government-University Industry Research Roundtable hosted a virtual workshop on October 14-16, 2020, to consider lessons learned to date about rapid response, innovation, and adaption related to COVID-19, more than 6 months into the global pandemic. The panels, discussions, and breakout sessions connected stakeholders to share how institutions have overcome barriers to accelerating research within and beyond the science community; fostered unprecedented collaboration; and tested the responsiveness and resilience of the research enterprise. The workshop built on a series of workshops held between May and August to consider the emerging challenges of the pandemic. While the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the agility and productivity of the research enterprise are not certain at this juncture, early and continuous reflection on these broad questions by a diverse array of stakeholders is important to future investigative efforts. This publication highlights the presentations of the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Learning from Rapid Response, Innovation, and Adaptation to the COVID-19 Crisis: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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14 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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