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Organisations within the energy industry continue to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19 through the adoption of a number of strategies such as the provision of free energy services and making donations to vulnerable communities and health workers on the front line. Italy’s Eni is one of them.

The energy company has recently donated its supercomputer to support research and development of a vaccine and other approaches to combat the pandemic.

In partnership with non-profit research consortium Cineca, Eni has made available its HPC5 supercomputer to the European EXSCALATE4CoV initiative which aims to identify the safest and most promising drugs to fight COVID-19.

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Developed to help Eni to transform its energy business processes and to develop new energy sources, the supercomputer is capable of 52 million billion mathematical operations per second.

EXCALATE4CoV is a collaboration of universities, national research centers and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research analysing almost 10,000 pharmaceutical components in its database with the aim to identify or come up with a vaccine.

Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of Eni, said: “During a global emergency such as this, we must mobilise all available resources to overcome the challenges ahead. We are proud to contribute to finding solutions to this challenge facing humanity.”

“We thank Eni for its valuable contribution and we are confident that this collaboration will significantly contribute to achieving a result in the future as well as providing a model for the recovery” adds Sanzio Bassini, Director of Cineca’s supercomputing department.

Working on the front line

Employees of Eni have also donated hours of their work time to the Italian Red Cross. This means the energy firm’s staff are joining workers from the Red Cross to work on the front line.

The hours will be used to provide services delivering groceries, medications and basic essentials at home and offering transporation services to the most vulnerable and those with greater social and medical weaknesses.

Employees of Eni have also raised €600,000 ($649,375) within only three weeks to help the Red Cross to fund its operations during the pandemic.

The donation has raised Eni’s total funding to help local health facilities in Italy to fight the virus to around €35 million ($37.8 million).

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The funds have been leveraged to buy about 600 ventilators, 55 portable oximeters, 127 syringe pumps, 38 patient monitors, 40 intensive care beds, and large numbers of surgical and superior masks.

The integrated energy company has also partnered with Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital to build a hospital in Rome in the former private Columbus Hospital), which will exclusively treat patients with the coronavirus. The facility has 130-bed spaces, 50 of them in intensive care, and has advanced technologies for diagnosing the disease.