In the beginning of April 2020, a group of scientists of several Belgian universities united in a multidisciplinary consortium with the purpose of investigating the potential of contact tracing as a means to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its members come from a number of diverse and relevant domains like epidemiology, law, privacy, data science and digital technology (see About the authors). Several members had already been looking into concrete solutions. As a whole, this group has gained relevant expertise (often based on empirical insights) that can facilitate the debate around digital contact tracing tools.
We emphasize that our motives are based on the academic pursuit of new scientific knowledge and a desire to use this knowledge for the public good. Although we have involved private partners in our consortium for their relevant expertise (e.g. in the field of digital product development), we have no ulterior business motives.
It is our ambition to facilitate accurate scientific research because we are convinced that it can save lives. Now more than ever. We are confident that a sustained collaboration of experts will lead to a stronger evidence-base and ultimately a better choice about how to employ technology to serve society in dealing with this challenge.