Projects on Disaster Tech: Preparing for Unprecedented Crisis

San Francisco, CA – It is our pleasure to introduce the fifth and final set of projects from our 2020 Fellowship class.

The projects, focused on Disaster Tech: Preparing for Unprecedented Crisis provide exciting innovations in disaster response communications and solutions for reducing software’s carbon footprint. We released the projects at our webinar today; you can watch the video of the event here.

We invite you to read more about the projects below, and to check them out on our website: Aspen Tech Policy Hub Projects. Please stay tuned for our announcement next week about webinars to release the results of our COVID-19 Challenge Grants.

Helpful Alternative Link Protocol (HALP)

When disaster strikes, reliable and easy-to-use communications become absolutely critical. Dependable communications are needed to pair those in distress with those able to provide assistance. However, recent fires, earthquakes and hurricanes have shown us that sometimes the cell networks that our society has come to rely on fail in disasters. Having both resilient cell networks and a backup option if cell carrier networks fail is critical to the safety and security of the United States. The Helpful Alternative Link Protocol (HALP) aims to improve the networks we currently have, and provides a fallback network if primary carriers fail. HALP uses LTE cellular bands for citizen-powered last mile mesh communications, so that citizens can communicate with those around them if existing cell services fail.

Tech Companies Combating Climate Change

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, scientific consensus states that CO₂ emissions must decline 40 to 60 percent by 2030 to keep our planet from warming more than 1.5°C. To achieve these goals, the software industry, whose climate impact from cloud computing is often underestimated, must significantly change. Large companies like Google and Microsoft are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint. Yet most startups lack the resources to understand and factor climate impact into business decisions. This project recommends that investors engage with portfolio companies to help them understand their climate impact and make changes. It supplies startups with tools to understand the impact of cloud providers, measure their carbon footprint, and take action to clean up their software supply chains.

Learn more about these and other projects here.