Since the imposition of restrictions on businesses and people by Her Majesty’s Government in March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, AIRTO (The Association of Innovation, Research & Technology Organisations) has been convening discussions with its members across the UK’s Innovation, Research & Technology sector, and other key stakeholders to:
• share best practice in the management of issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and to benchmark business activities
• understand the issues laboratories are facing, to be able to take interventions or actions on behalf of the sector with policy makers
• supply evidence to government departments in relation to the impact of COVID-19 in the environment of unprecedented restrictions and also the direct response to the emergency.
Two key areas of concern have dominated the agenda in recent weeks:
i). the immediate impact of the crisis to AIRTO’s members business operations. Issues such as the use of and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), home working arrangements, furloughing of staff, and maintaining laboratory operations critical for the UK national security and infrastructure whilst maintaining social distancing and personal safety for those still working ‘on-site’;
ii). strategic issues such as business continuity, cash flow, longer term implications for organisational business models.
Read AIRTO’s Position Statement summarising the key issues which have emerged for laboratories during the Covid-19 pandemic and some of the lessons learned so far: