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This article was published on September 16, 2020

IBM announces the 2020 Call for Code regional finalists

IBM announces the 2020 Call for Code regional finalists
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

It’s that time of year again! The David Clark Cause and its partner IBM have officially announced the regional finalists for the 2020 Call for Code challenge.

Call for Code is a multiyear challenge issued in 2018 with the purpose of soliciting solutions from the global developer’s community. Individuals and teams are tasked with building novel, scalable solutions to problems effecting everyone.

This year’s focus is on combating climate change and mitigating the disastrous effects of COVID-19.

IBM’s Daniel Krook, Chief Technology Officer, Call for Code, told TNW:

Over the past three years, it has been really exciting to see developers use their skills and creativity to tackle some of the most difficult issues of our time. This year, we asked developers to take on the urgency of COVID-19 and climate change and they’ve responded with more engagement and enthusiasm than ever. The regional finalists are impressive solutions powered by open source technologies that can scale around the world. We can’t wait to work with these teams to see what kind of difference they can make in their communities and beyond.

The current list of regional winners will be whittled down to the challenge’s finalists between now and 13 October, at which time an esteemed panel of judges featuring President Bill Clinton, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and many others will announce this year’s winner.

In the meantime, here’s a few of the teams who are still in the mix. It’s possible you might see one of these solutions take the crown this year:


Per IBM:

COVID-19 is taking a toll on healthcare professionals who continue to care for a deluge of coronavirus patients without the protection, resources, and support they might need. A nurse with firsthand COVID-19 experience teamed up with data scientists to create an AI-driven app that proactively protects the well being of front-line health workers. This app enables workers to monitor their mental health, find activities to release stress, get support immediately via a chabot, and find a therapist for follow-up, if needed. It also generates summary reports of stress levels to provide managers with the insights needed to manage their teams proactively and solve problems in real time.

Climate for NINJA

Per IBM:

Nearly 80 percent of developers acknowledge that climate change is a problem, but the majority don’t know where to start when building solutions to address it. Climate for NINJA provides developers a way to tackle energy sustainability through air-conditioning system efficiency. This API can monitor air-conditioning data, visualize the trend of room temperature versus outdoor temperature, and recommend when the air conditioner AC should stop running to optimize efficiency. Given that space cooling is expected to triple by 2050, air-conditioning AC system advances can help greatly reduce climate change.

LikeBee – Caring Together

Per IBM:

Plastic is a big contributor to climate change. By 2050, the plastic carbon footprint is expected to account for 15 percent of the global annual carbon budget. The good news is recycling can save energy and lessen plastic carbon emissions. This team created LikeBee to help consumers become more conscious of the positive impact they can have on reducing plastics. This intelligent recycling bin and app can record the efforts of a user and then based on their level of recycling, offer digital discount coupons that can be used at stores in the LikeBee network.

SMS Based Eschool Platform

Per IBM:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly devastating effect on schooling in parts of Africa like Tanzania, where no online learning platform for students exists. Using simple SMS services, this app provides a way for students to submit assignments, and receive information from online resources like the Cambridge Dictionary. The platform also allows seamless communication between student and teacher.

This year’s finalists will be announced soon and then it’s off to the awards show beginning at 7:30PM EST 13 October – details here.

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