IBM competition calls for open source solutions to climate change

Call For Code 2020 is offering startups $200,000 and mentorship through the Linux Foundation

A coalition led by IBM has sent out its annual call for startups to develop innovative open source technology to tackle global issues.

Call For Code is returning for a third year, this time encouraging applications that aim to tackle issues related to climate change, with the winner receiving a $200,000 prize and mentorship from IBM.

The contest is run in partnership with the David Clark Cause, the Linux Foundation and the United Nations Human Rights Office.

Successful applications will be supported through the Linux Foundation and developed through IBM's Code and Response initiative – a four-year program that moves the new application around IBM's worldwide community where it's tested and eventually launched.

Over 180,000 participants took part in 2019's contest, according to IBM, with more than 5,000 applications put forward to solve issues around natural disaster relief.

Last year's winner, a Spanish startup called Prometeo (pictured above), built an AI-based wearable that monitors the health of firefighters in the field. The idea came from firefighter Joan Herrera and Vicenç Padró, a nurse with a PhD in toxicology. The pair manually collected health data by running behind firefighters and checking their vitals to analyse later.

The platform uses multiple IBM Cloud services and the device is similar in size to an iPhone that straps to the arm. Its sensors measure temperature, humidity and smoke concentration, along with vital signs of the user. This data is sent over IBM's Cloud IoT platform and onto a Watson-based machine learning model that filters the information into a simple colour-coded status that displays in a dashboard at a fire command centre.

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