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Novid20’s CEO Christoph Tockner and Moritz Miedler talked to iGlobenews and shared insights into fighting the pandemic. Novid20 helped Austria and many other European countries and cities in their efforts to digitalize their solutions for fighting COVID. This innovative startup has received public recognition for their excellent service and work.

Countries have never moved towards digitalization so quickly as during the pandemic. Austria is a prime example of this. Today everyone in Austria cannot get his/her digital signature fast enough – a prerequisite for Austria’s Green Pass and the EU’s Digital Green Certificate. The pandemic has offered unexpected opportunities for those willing to take a closer look.

Novid20, a Vienna-based startup, was ready to fill the void and set out to develop IT solutions to assist administrative efforts for vaccination and testing. It started operations in March 2020 with a group of young likeminded professionals of digital experts, data protection lawyers, developers, entrepreneurs, and researchers, all committed to contributing in the fight against COVID. The CEO of NOVID Christoph Tockner and his associate Moritz Miedler gave iGlobenews an exclusive interview on 9 June 2021.

At first Novid20 set out to develop software for a test infrastructure provider modelled on the already existing South Korean open-source solutions. Through the development of innovative solutions, Novid20 cut administrative costs and produced efficiency in workflows. Some of their current projects include, the Lolli tests for the German city of Freiburg, testing solutions for Caritas assisted living homes, as well as the gargle test for Lower Austria. In order to realize these solutions Novid20 works closely with authorities, scientists and experts from various industries to optimize its software solutions and processes.

In cooperation with leading Austrian scientists from the Vienna BioCenter Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Johannes Zuber and Dr. Julius Brennecker, the idea for a monitoring project for Austria was realized. These scientists discovered that if you test 70% of Austrian inhabitants twice a week the reproduction rate of the virus would go under one even without a vaccine. Together with computer scientists at Novid20, the novel test infrastructure was created which has since been successfully implemented in 23 Caritas assisted living homes around Austria.

Having passion for what you do and being a fast learner are two of the prerequisites for a successful startup. Novid20 is the perfect example for this. Acting fast when you see the need and finding knowhow to fill knowledge gaps is key to success. Although both managers agree that making money was a nice by-product, the agreed common goal of the entire team at Novid20 is centered around their vision to help fight the pandemic. At first the entire team worked pro-bono. Only after selling their first COVID tracking app to the country of Georgia did money start flowing in. Novid20 has now been officially recognized by the Austrian government through the AWS Creative Impact Fund. A special fund for digital excellence for innovative new products, sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.

Since the main shareholder of the limited liability company remains the original non-profit association, no plans are on the table to go public. Both Christoph Tockner and Moritz Miedler see Novid20 winding down as the pandemic hopefully fades into the past. Yet until that time comes, their mission to find new and innovative solutions to assist in the fight against COVID goes on. Novid20 is using the respite of summer to find new and more effective solutions. One such approach is Novid20’s next project revolving around wastewater testing, an innovative approach also used in Israel.

Picture: CEO of Novid20 Christoph Tockner and manager Moritz Miedler © Novid20
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