EQAsce has spoken to many members during the times of the corona crisis. We asked how these special times have changed everyday and work lives. Today we talk to EQAsce-chairwoman Dr. Brigitte Petersen. At the beginning of the crisis in Germany she changed her position as professor at the University of Bonn – that she has been for 35 years – to work completely for EQAsce now.
EQAsce: In how far has your professional work changed in the past weeks?
Dr. Petersen: Health and crisis management in enterprises of the agri and food sector have been the focus of my research and work as lecturer in the past ten years. Thus, things have not changed too much in this special and hard situation. My telephone doesn’t stand still, I grab the prepared crisis-plans that have been developed in various joint research projects before and I point to possible hotspots in areas of systemic importance – it is the same procedure as it was in times crises before.
EQAsce: What did the people on the phone expect from you as a scientist in this exceptional time and as well as EQAsce-chairwoman?
Dr. Petersen: That would be nationwide networking plus fast mobilization of experts to develop effective public-private-partnership-strategies for combining digitalization and crisis prevention. That means fast and specific qualification through online offerings for everyone who need to change their actions due to stronger regulations in health and safety protection and protection against infection. And it means as well getting the immunity pass that is in development right now. What our project and networking partners know from our long-term cooperation is that we are very well prepared for solving this kind of complex, technical and organizational problems in a transdisciplinary manner here in the economic and science region of Cologne/Bonn.
EQAsce: Have you already succeeded in mediating consortium partners for future innovative developments in the technical and organizational area of crisis prevention?
Dr. Petersen: Contacts have been established, now we are working on bringing together partners from two public-private-partnership-initiatives through online meetings hosted by EQAsce. Our goal is to combine the EQAsce-run project QVIREA, the cooperative Govdigital that has been founded in December 2019, the Federal Printing Office, and the consortium for the development of the health-certificate to a joint working. The concept of the personalized Digital Qualification Card for those working in the agri and food sector and the development of the health-certificate would be great to combine for all people who control enterprises of the agri and food sector as their daily work. Those people become a risk if they carry the virus without knowing. Right now, a lot of audits are shifted because of the risk of protracted delays. A combined pass could now grant access to those who are verifiably immune against certain pathogens and who are qualified for the tasks to do.
Including the fact that today a lot of immunoassays are not reliable enough, many do not want to wait and prefer a fast testing of the combi-card. EQAsce will prepare a testing with candidates, will carry it out and will evaluate it.