Technology major IBM has announced the launch of the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge which invites software developers and innovators to combat climate change with open source-powered technology.
This year, the competition focuses on three sub-themes of climate change – clean water and sanitation, zero hunger, and responsible production and green consumption.
The challenge is conducted in partnership with Call for Code creator David Clark Cause, charitable partner United Nations Human Rights, and the Linux Foundation.
“The winning team from each Call for Code Global Challenge receives $200,000, and support from the IBM Service Corps, technical experts, and ecosystem partners to incubate their technology, open source their code to make it available for anyone to use, and deploy their solution on the ground in communities around the world,” David Clark, CEO of David Clark Cause, and Creator of Call for Code, said in a statement.
The Call for Code initiative, which is in its fourth year now, has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations, and has generated more than fifteen thousand applications in its fourth year, the statement added.
The initiative aims to drive immediate and lasting humanitarian progress around the world through the creation of practical applications built on open source-powered software, including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, atmospheric data from IBM’s Weather Company, and developer resources and APIs from partners like Intuit and New Relic.
It is also supported by a diverse set of like-minded global ecosystem of experts, companies, foundations, universities, and celebrities including UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator experts, Arrow Electronics, Black Girls Code, Caribbean Girls Hack, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University, Ingram Micro, Intuit, Kode With Klossy, NearForm, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Way, and World Institute on Disability.
IBM has also announced new partnerships this year with international development organisation Heifer International and charity: water, a non-profit organization founded in 2006 that provides drinking water to people in developing nations.
“Smallholder farmers produce the majority of the world’s food and are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. With access to information and technology, they can make informed decisions on what to grow and when, enabling them to increase their incomes, while feeding the world,” said David Gill, Senior Director of Technology Innovation for Heifer International.
Agrolly, an app designed to support small farmers by providing climate and crop predictions and recommendations, won the previous year’s challenge. Since October, the Agrolly team has expanded their solution to new markets and provided hands-on training to more than 500 rural farmers across Mongolia, India, and Brazil, who are testing and using the app to fight the effects of climate change, the statement added. Agrolly is also working with the IBM Service Corps on a deployment plan to improve and test their technology in the coming months.
According to the statement, Call for Code has generated more than 30 solutions that are being incubated and field tested in a series of deployments, including 12 open source projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.
“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and we must apply our collective ingenuity and cutting-edge technologies to make a lasting difference. Together with our ecosystem of partners, IBM will work with the winning team to incubate and deploy their solution in communities where it’s most needed, just as we’ve done with past winners,” said Ruth Davis, director of Call for Code, IBM.
Earlier this year, IBM has announced that it will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by prioritizing reductions in its emissions, energy efficiency efforts, and increased clean energy use across the more than 175 countries where it operates. More recently, IBM Research announced progress in accelerating the discovery of new carbon capture, separation, and storage technologies.