COVID-19: Call for Code Global Challenge 2020

COVID-19: Call for Code Global Challenge 2020

COVID-19: Fight the global pandemic

The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge has expanded its focus to tackle the effects of COVID-19. Technology solutions can help reduce the impact this pandemic has on our daily lives and the world. We have the tools. You have the talent.

A. On COVID-19

COVID-19, which is caused by the novel corona virus, has revealed the limits of the systems we take for granted in a very short period of time. Whether it’s the massive increase in demand for information during a time of crisis, educating children when schools are closed, or helping communities best distribute limited resources, technology has a pivotal role to play. Through Call for Code, you can see your idea deployed by a global partner ecosystem.


Join the Code Life Ventilator Challenge 2020


Here are three (3) COVID-19 starter kits. These are quick-start guides that explain the individual problems people and communities are facing, to help you start creating applications tied to easy-to-understand use cases in just minutes.

Crisis communication

In times of crisis, communications systems are one of the first systems to become overwhelmed. Chatbots help respond to tens, even hundreds, of thousands of messages a day. COVID-19 has prompted many people to seek answers about symptoms and testing sites as well as the current status of schools, transportation, and other public services. Using Watson Assistant, this Call for Code starter kit has designed a virtual assistant pre-loaded to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19, scan COVID-19 news articles using Watson Discovery, and respond to COVID statistics inquires with data from trusted sources.

Remote education

It’s imperative that learning and creating can continue when educational institutions have to shift the way they teach in times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing a set of open source tools, backed by IBM Cloud and Watson Services, will enable educators to more easily make content available for their students.


Join the Global Tech Challenge 2020 by CES/World Bank Group


Community cooperation

There is a growing interest in enabling communities to cooperate among themselves to solve problems in times of crisis. In the COVID-19 crisis, we have already seen problems with the local supply of food, equipment, and other supplies. Mobile, web, and cloud services enable rapid deployment of applications that can empower cooperation in the community. The kits include a description of the starter solution, an architectural diagram, and a tutorial with starter code and reference materials.

B. On climate change

Here are the 2020 Call for Code Challenge climate change starter kits. To help define the specific situations caused by climate change where your innovations could be most helpful. Each kit focuses on a key topic — water sustainability, energy sustainability, and disaster resiliency — essential to halting and reversing climate change, and grounded in real-world needs defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. These are the areas where you can have the greatest impact:

Water sustainability

This IoT-based solution aims to help farmers, particularly those in shifting climate realities, monitor hyper-localized weather data and adapt their crop strategies to optimize water usage.

Energy sustainability

With a goal of building consumer awareness about energy costs across the manufacturing process, this solution creates the framework for a new global product labeling system that would include a comprehensive Climate Impact Rating (CIR), similar to the labels on food products, with incentives for consumers and retailers to drive purchases of more efficient products.

Disaster resiliency

To help communities prepare for floods, this app will provide residents with education at all stages of an event, from a checklist of essential survival materials to real-time information on the capacity of local shelters.


Learn more and join the 2020 MEST Africa Challenge


With these starter kits, you can get a head start creating a sustainable solution to halt and reverse climate change. To further increase the impact you can make, IBM is building a wide ecosystem of partners and tech providers to help participants round out their solutions. For example, the HERE Location Services APIs let you access geospatial data, routing, geofencing and interactive maps.

You can register and get started now creating applications with our open source-powered software built on Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, and data from The Weather Company. As we’ve done the previous two years, IBM will work with the teams who create the most promising solutions to build, fortify, test, and deploy them through IBM Code and Response.

Together, we have the power to use the latest technology in ways that make an immediate and lasting humanitarian impact in local communities and across the globe.

Thank you for answering the Call in this unprecedented time in our history.

Challenge Timeline

We have created an accelerated submission timeline (highlighted in purple) to identify, build and deploy solutions for COVID-19. However, you can continue to submit solutions until July 31. For more information read the FAQ.

COVID-19 - Call for Code Global Challenge 2020 - Challenge Timeline
COVID-19 – Call for Code Global Challenge 2020 – Challenge Timeline

Further details and application

Read the Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Visit the Programme website

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