The novel coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe and once bustling industrial economies are grinding to a halt.
Companies and their employees are being forced to rapidly adapt to a new way of working, civil liberties are being withdrawn to ease pressure on already-squeezed health services, and emergency services on the frontline of the pandemic are making unthinkable sacrifices to attend the infected.
IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are joining forces with the White House, the US Department of Energy, and other US federal agencies to deliver supercomputing power and public cloud resources to scientists and researchers working to address the novel coronavirus global pandemic.
As part of the newly-announced Covid-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, the companies are making 330 petaflops of performance available to researchers attempting to understand the virus and form treatments that can be used for potential vaccines.
Microsoft has said its cloud platform Azure will begin prioritising emergency personnel and organisations working on the frontline of coronavirus efforts.
In a blog post, the tech giant said first responders, health and emergency management services, and critical government functions would be prioritised if its cloud infrastructure encountered capacity constraints.
“This is an outstanding event that delivers fantastic results for us. The audience is huge but, more importantly, the quality of the prospects in the room is absolutely top class and means we can access decision makers from multiple new customers across two days. "