Amazon is working on a cure for the common cold, under the aptly named “Project Gesundheit.”
According to CNBC, Amazon has a research and development group called the Grand Challenge, which focuses on the biggest challenges facing the world. Amazon wants to make sure it can see the next big thing coming, rather than be surprised by a shift in industry or a disruptive startup.
As part of the Grand Challenge, Project Gesundheit is “hoping to develop a vaccine, but is exploring a variety of approaches to the problem. Internally, the effort is sometimes referred to as the ‘vaccine project.’” The effort has been going on for years, although Amazon will not acknowledge either the project’s existence or that of the Grand Challenge.
If Amazon is successful, it would be a boon to both the company and the U.S. economy. As CNBC points out, in 2003 a study showed the common cold costing the economy some $40 billion a year, a figure that is likely much higher now.