IBM 2020 Call for Code global challenge to fight Covid-19 pandemic

IBM 2020 Call for Code global challenge to fight Covid-19 pandemic
Photo Credit: Reuters
25 Mar, 2020

New York-headquartered technology giant IBM has invited developers and innovators to find solutions to support the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge looks to address two urgent crisis — climate change and Covid-19. 

IBM has asked participants to focus on key areas such as crisis communication during an emergency, ways to improve remote learning and initiatives to inspire local communities.

Registrations for the competition began on March 22 and close on July 31. Winners will be announced in October 2020. Grand prize for the challenge includes a $200,000 cash, open-source project support from the Linux Foundation, mentorship and investment opportunities among others. 

The annual coding challenge by the Big Blue, Call for Code, was launched in 2018. The competition encourages developers to create open-source technology solutions that can mitigate the impact of natural disasters using IBM cloud services.

A month ago, IBM together with Creator David Clark Cause, United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation announced climate change as the theme for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. Organisers have now extended the theme to include Covid-19.

"Call for Code was created to take on society’s most pressing issues, which is why we are expanding this year’s Challenge to address both climate change and Covid-19, two urgent crises that have the power to compromise our health, our planet, and our survival. We’re asking developers, data scientists, and problem solvers to answer the Call,” a statement from IBM said.

Read: WHO, Indian govt roll out Covid-19 helpline numbers on WhatsApp

Barcelona-based AI firefighter safety startup Prometeo won the Call for Code 2019. Open-source artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled platform Sparrow, which provides a platform for medical and psychological services during and after disasters, emerged as the first runner-up. 

In India, Covid-19 pandemic has taken at least nine lives so far and infected about 500 others. The country has imposed a lockdown in around 30 states and union territories in hopes to decelerate the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Recently, a group of Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs developed an app, called Q-app, to help the government live-track those under home quarantine. The app, which is expected to go live this week, will also provide colour-coded information to identify areas with a large number of positive cases.