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ADM’s role in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis

Photo: ADM UnitX
Photo: ADM UnitX

Estonia can definitely be an example to others by creating innovative and quick solutions to help companies and people all over the world manage the global crisis better. In ADM, we have conducted various workshops for this and come up with different solutions where we could use our skills to help both our clients as well as other businesses and the society on a larger scale.

We consult, teach, and create crisis solutions

Although COVID-19 is the first of its kind in the world, our 22 years of operation at ADM have seen us successfully survive multiple economic crises, which helps us now in giving valuable advice to companies of all sizes in how they should go about changing their business models as well as specific technical aspects, whether that is setting up remote work, implementing a chatbot, managing sudden traffic spikes in online services or creating a new online store in record time.

Even when the crisis was still just beginning, we already realised that our group is able to help both companies and individuals to better survive the crisis. To achieve that, we are working together to find solutions to economic and healthcare questions, and putting together cost-effective and quick-to-implement digital service and sales solutions for service providers and merchants to help them create new sources of revenue or protect the health of their employees.

Service designers and user experience designers are hacking the crisis

ADM’s people took part of The Global Hack movement, which saw over 40 online hackathons organised globally with the goal of using people’s IT knowledge and tools to help battle the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world. During one of these hackathons, ADM’s user experience designers helped create a universal social distancing app, the prototype of which can be found here.

In addition to the much-needed international cooperation, which has a positive effect that surpasses state borders, our user experience and service design teams are also working full-time with our clients and doing rapid design sprints to create new models and solutions that could be used to successfully guide companies through this crisis.

The computers of ADM’s incubator and innovation lab Elevator Startups are fighting COVID-19

The startup incubator Elevator Startups, which is a part of ADM Group, has put together computers with a very high computational power to help the international scientists’ consortium find a cure for COVID-19.

According to Jaak Ennuste, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at ADM and mentor in the Elevator Startups programme, the fastest way of finding a cure for COVID-19 is by testing existing drugs: “Pharmaceutical companies have thousands of approved drugs on their shelves which are meant for fighting other diseases but which may also be helpful in managing the coronavirus pandemic. We will be testing these drugs in a molecular dynamics simulation with the goal of blocking or destroying the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. We will be running computer simulations instead of testing on humans to significantly shorten the amount of time required to develop a cure.”

Since molecular dynamics simulations require a great amount of computational power, then Elevator Startups decided to become a computational power donor for the project with two devices. The 11 500 CUDA cores of these devices will provide a total computational power of 44 teraflops. Considering that the graphics card of the average laptop (e.g. Intel UHD620) can perform at a rate of 0,4 teraflops, then the two Elevator Startups devices will provide a computational capability equal to that of more than 100 laptops.

The international consortium dedicated to finding a cure for the coronavirus includes 11 leading universities in the world, headed by The Voelz Lab and Chodera Lab. The scientific institutions and the computational power donors are brought together by Folding@home, one of the fastest computer clusters in the world dedicated to finding cures for complicated diseases such as Alzheimers, Ebola, cancer and now, COVID-19.

“Technically speaking, the solution will see scientists uploading their work to the internet, followed by any available donors then using their computational resources to run simulations of that work. As a part of the client server model network architecture, all volunteered machines will receive parts of the simulations known as work units. They will fulfil these units and send the results back to the project’s database servers where all of the units will be combined into a general simulation,” said Ennuste.

“Everyone has a strength, a skill or a solution that could be a huge help to someone at an important and critical moment in the current situation. That is why we have inspected all areas in which we see opportunities for the companies in ADM Group to help contribute as well,” said Riho Pihelpuu, CEO of ADM Group. “At the same time, a common denominator across all our crisis-fighting solutions is also a steady look into the future – one day, the crisis will be over, and we know that we must already prepare for that day now.”

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