Rolls-Royce is spearheading an alliance of data experts in a bid to find new and faster ways of helping businesses and governments recover from the economic impact of coronavirus.

Companies including Google Cloud and IBM have been invited to collaborate on the new alliance which is called Emer2gent. Members who have been invited so far include Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, IBM, The Data City, Truata and ODI Leeds.

Traditional and behavioural data set will combine for greater insight

Rolls-Royce said Emer2gent will combine traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behaviour and sentiment data, to provide new insights into – and practical applications to support – the global recovery from coronavirus. It added that the work will be done with a sharp focus on privacy and security, using industry best practices for data sharing and robust governance.

In a statement by the company, it stated the aim of the Emer2gent models was to help get people and businesses back to work as soon as possible by identifying lead indicators of economic recovery cycles. Global businesses of all sizes as well as governments, can use the free insights to build the confidence they need to take early decisions, such as investments or policies, that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts from the pandemic.

“Data innovation comes together for the common good”

Caroline Gorski, Global Director, R2 Data Labs, the Rolls-Royce data innovation catalyst which started the alliance, said: “We want the global economy to get better as soon as possible so people can get back to work. Our data innovation community can help do this and is at its best when it comes together for the common good.”

“People, businesses and governments around the world have changed the way they spend, move, communicate and travel because of COVID-19 and we can use that insight, along with other data, to provide the basis for identifying what new insights and trends may emerge that signify the world’s adjustment to a ‘new normal’ after the pandemic.”

Andrew Brown, General Manager, IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software Europe added: “IBM looks forward to joining our existing partners and valued clients in this initiative. It is hoped IBM’s contribution will help accomplish the identification of proven use cases, to assist where recovery indicators emerge for countries, governments, state agencies and supporting companies to best respond to the next phase of the improvement in the pandemic.”

Emer2gent has set up a website for potential members to register their interest at The first challenges have already been issued to the community, including one to identify lead indicators of economic recovery which businesses can use to build the confidence they need for investment or activities that will shorten or limit any recessionary impact from the virus.