We have been saving lives since 2010. This year, GINA is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Let’s remember the most important moments in its history.
International and non-governmental organizations ensuring help during humanitarian crises and disasters happening all over the world use GINA as a solution for security management, protection, and localization of personnel or people important for managing their missions. Thanks to a unique opportunity to integrate widely used radio communication stations into the GINA System, tens of thousands of workers in the most dangerous places all over the world are better protected.
The system directly impacts people’s security and coordination and involves more than 250,000 active users in 50 countries around the world. Among GINA’s customers, there are organizations employing more than 20,000 members who are equipped with walkie-talkies connected to the system. These people are informed about security risks and coordinated by GINA operators.
Let’s remember the most important moments in its history.
The software proved its value for the first time during the Haiti earthquake. Zbynek Poulicek (CEO) contacted Hand for Help, a Czech humanitarian organization working in Haiti at that time, and this area became the first place where the GINA System was deployed in the field.
Using modern technologies significantly facilitates the work of field workers who often have no idea of where in the affected area they may be located. These people often work in areas with a higher risk of injury and increased stress levels. The worst thing that can happen in these conditions is chaos and complete hopelessness. And these are the moments when GINA helps get accurate and real data to provide everybody with sufficient information based on which right decisions supported by current data are made.
A few weeks after his comeback from Haiti and first responders’ positive feedback, Zbynek Poulicek was sure to have developed a tool that first responders need and which saves people’s lives. In November 2010, he, Boris Prochazka and Petra Cerna founded GINA Software, based South Moravian Innovation Centre, Brno.
MICROSOFT IMAGINE CUP (2010)
Imagine Cup is an annual worldwide student developer competition hosted by Microsoft since 2002. The benefits for the world must be clearly demonstrated and the use of hardware is welcome.
The idea of a collaborative map and its deployment in Haiti drew worldwide attention. Thanks to an interesting project with a social impact interconnecting the technology of collaborative maps to digital media, GINA became the winner of this prestigious competition in the Design Software category.
Needless to say, this was a very promising project. Bill Gates, the founder and former CEO of Microsoft, highlighted its idea and benefits on his blog.
TSUNAMI IN JAPAN (2011)
Furthermore, the system was provided to help Japan hit by a tsunami in 2011. Czech rescuers of Sibrina (Zachranari Sibrina) volunteering for the Red Cross got involved in search operations in Mito, Japan, which had been hit by an earthquake and tsunami. The search team tested GINA in extreme conditions.
The main goal of the team was to search for victims and map the area. However, in some areas there was practically nothing to record as there were just ruins of buildings left after the tsunami. The entire cities including houses and infrastructure were destroyed, leaving only torsos of individual buildings in some places.
FIRE IN BZENEC (2012)
GINA became known among Czech firefighters because of the fire in Bzenec. Due to adverse weather conditions combined with a large area of 500 hectares, this fire became well-known among all firefighters in the Czech Republic. High temperature and strong wind turned the intervention area into a place full of smoke. Thick smoke could be seen tens of kilometres away.
1500 firefighters, including units of the neighbouring Trnava Region, were trying to extinguish the fire. In addition to classic fire engines, several helicopters and aircraft, also two tracked fire fighting vehicles and other heavy equipment were deployed. All this equipment in the field requires proper coordination. The latest GINA technology was used here as well. Transmission of real-time information directly from the scene, efficient coordination of intervenors, immediate exchange of information, security of intervenors and interconnection with KOPIS (Regional Operational and Information Centre) can only be realized through a complex and reliable system.
The use of the app, tablets and locators used in tactical operations is crucial during a huge fire. The need to modernize and take innovative steps in tactical communication lays the foundations for its improvement and increase in efficiency.
FLOODS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC (2013)
Thanks to successful cooperation with firefighters in Bzenec, the GINA System was further deployed during floods in Central Bohemia, specifically in Melnik and Litomerice regions. GINA proved to be a suitable tool for mapping the floods in the affected areas as well as for planning and coordination of intervention units.
The original idea has changed over the years. The entire system has been supplemented with many other functions and is programmed to be used by all first responders during large joint interventions as well as during routine, everyday operations.
RADIO INTEGRATIONS (2016)
2016 posed an important milestone in GINA’s history. Cooperation between GINA and Motorola Solutions, a leader in communication technologies, was concluded. It is a significant strategic partnership because Motorola walkie-talkies and communication terminals are used in many projects whether commercial, state or humanitarian, all over the world.
Thanks to the fact that we can connect radio communication stations of various technologies to the system as well as mobile apps and GPS locators of different kinds including the satellite ones, we can transmit and display unified data in our systems. Our system already contains dozens of highly specialized integrations (often at the binary protocol level), which makes it one of the most universal systems on the market. This means a great advantage for big organizations that use different technologies during their missions.
SATYA NADELLA (2017)
The head of Microsoft, one of the most influential international corporations, Satya Nadella, took part in the DOTS 2017 conference on digital transformation. The main focus of the conference was how digital technologies are transforming today’s business. He concluded his lecture by telling the inspiring story of GINA.
DELOITTE FAST 50 (2018)
Deloitte FAST 50 awards the fastest growing technological companies in Central Europe. Within individual categories, one company from each country of this region that developed a unique and innovative product or provides services with a revolutionary impact on the market is awarded a special Social Impact Award.
GINA Software, a Czech company developing applications for NGOs, received this special recognition award among companies with a significant social impact.
The vision of SDGs Awards is based on global commitment to fulfil the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiatives, products or services which fulfil global goals and transform the Czech Republic and the entire world for the better are awarded every year. The winner was selected by an expert jury out of 213 projects submitted.
The GINA System was awarded a prize for an absolute winner of 2019 for a project with an exceptional idea that has a unique impact on various areas that makes the world a better place.
This year we are all united by one big event, the COVID-19 pandemic. GINA has been actively involved in processes that help reverse the consequences related to the global spread of this pandemic.
First responders equipped with GINA Tablet help medical professionals to manage the current coronavirus crisis. The selected regions may use GINA solutions free of charge for the time of the crisis. At the end of October, special mobile sampling teams equipped with the GINA System were deployed in the selected regions.
Furthermore, the system was helpful during the first spring wave in Slovakia where it helped coordinate first responders.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have won an ESA project to create a product for emergency medical services that will improve their efficiency by 20%. We have been developing the product with our Italian partner company. Its first version will be put into operation before the end of the year.
We also help during other events that are not related to the pandemic, such as this year’s explosion in Beirut. We have established cooperation with the local Red Cross which picked our company thanks to the ability to interconnect their volunteer workers with the ambulances.