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Delaware Data Innovation Lab is Producing Results to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

Delaware Data Innovation Lab is Producing Results to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic Main Photo

19 Mar 2021


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This article originally appeared on Wilmington Office of Economic Development and was created for the Wilmington Office of Economic Development by Golden Shovel Agency.

With the goal of providing data analytics, decision-makers need to maneuver and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilmington information technology and business-sense came together in a big way for the creation of the Delaware Data Innovation Lab (DDIL).

"The concept of the Data Lab was developed at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020," said Patrick Callahan, CEO, CompassRed. "seeing a strong need for data analysis, having the dream of an 'Innovation Lab' modeled off of MIT's Media Lab, and receiving a flood of resumes from some of the most talented people I have ever seen, all played a factor in forming an answer to the question: 'How do we maximize the opportunity in this moment?' We had looked into every possible funding source. When the grant opportunity came about, we were ready to start."

CompassRed was awarded a $2M grant as part of the CARES Act Innovation Grant from New Castle County, Delaware. The grant was specifically designed to support businesses and entrepreneurs to develop new programs and technologies to expedite increased coronavirus safety and to establish foundations for a strong economy and a healthy, thriving community for years to come. Job creation and attraction of tech companies and talent to the county were also goals.

The timeline shows how prepared CompassRed was to hit the ground innovating after they learned of the CARES Act funds in the summer of 2020. DDIL was officially launched on December 1st, and by the beginning of February 2021, they were deep into projects and reporting results.

"We were notified of our award in October and immediately - the day after - put out a call for resumes for the Lab," said Callahan. "We were able to fill the roles in two weeks. I believe a big part of the reason we were able to build the team so quickly was because of the 'why' behind the development of the Data Lab: we want to save lives with innovations in data. We want to build something that goes beyond our years. The missis attracted the people"

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