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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Informational Webinar on Global PPE Forum, How 5G is Driving Economic Growth in a Post-COVID Economy, and More


ASTM International to Host Informational Webinar on Global PPE Forum

ASTM International will host a webinar on March 16, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. ET, with information on its newly launched global collaboration forum, aimed at addressing challenges facing PPE and accelerating standards development. The forum was launched in conjunction with the publication of a technical white paper entitled “Collaboration to Advance Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety, Quality, and Innovation.” Both the forum and technical white paper were in tandem with members of ASTM’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee (F23), responsible for the publication of the specification for barrier face coverings, which establishes minimum design, performance, labeling, and care requirements for reusable barrier face coverings.

The hour-long session will include presentations on:

  • ASTM International and the organization’s role in PPE standards development
  • Challenges facing PPE and standards development
  • Benefits of global collaboration
  • Identification of potential stakeholders
  • ASTM’s leadership role in the collaboration forum
  • Next steps, and more

To see the list of speakers and register for the webinar, visit ASTM's registration page. For more information on the collaboration platform, visit

Qualcomm Publishes Article on How 5G is Driving Economic Growth, Resiliency, and Sustainability in a Post-COVID Economy

In the U.S., 5G will generate up to $1.5 trillion in additional GDP between 2021 and 2025, according to new economic studies by Accenture, commissioned by Qualcomm. 5G will also create or transform up to 16 million American jobs, including full-time, part-time, and temporary jobs in the United States, Qualcomm noted in its OnQ blog.

The economic reports also indicate that despite all this potential for accelerated growth and recovery, challenges will need to be addressed, as the 5G economy will introduce a new level of complexity to policymaking and regulation as new business models emerge and industries continue to evolve on their digital transformation. 

To that end, the reports identify several areas that policymakers should consider, such as: 

  • Fostering a robust global supply chain to power critical manufacturing, healthcare, automotive and other 5G use cases via trusted sources and reliable producers.
  • Ensuring legal protections for intellectual property and establish other policies that protect new technologies, encourage innovation and R&D, and accelerate new developments.
  • Developing policies to support reliable semiconductor, wireless device and network equipment innovation and design.

Access additional considerations and view the article in full via Qualcomm.

RTI International Publishes Year in Review, Highlighting its Response to the Pandemic

RTI International, which provides research, development, and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide, has published its year in review, highlighting its key achievements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our experts in epidemiology, public health, international development, engineering, economics, survey research, data analysis, communication, and many other fields met the moment and will continue to contribute to the solutions the world needs as it emerges from the crisis," noted Laura Fiorilli-Crews, RTI corporate communications, in a recent blog post.

Among the many highlights, the RTI-implemented USAID/Governance for Local Development (GoLD) Activity (in Senegal) brought together 17 multi-sectoral projects to share ideas and resources so that projects could deliver results despite the operational challenges posed by the pandemic.

In September 2020, USAID selected RTI as a partner for the Country Health Information Systems and Data Use (CHISU) Program, led by JSI Research & Training Institute. The project works alongside governments in low- and middle- income countries to strengthen health systems and data for decision-making, which is critical to building resilience against pandemics.

In the most recent efforts, RFI researchers weighed in on a new set of policy issues, including strategies to address vaccine hesitancy and considerations around the reopening of elementary schools.

Access the full year in review post on RTI International's Insights Blog.



Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]