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IBM Will Reward Solutions to Prevent Natural Disasters With 30 Million Dollars

IBM, one of the largest technological companies in the world, published the Call for Code Global Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to unite solutions for sustainable software on a global level that would help with the prevention, response and recovery after the natural disasters in the future. According to the company, this problems is one of the most urgent problems nowadays that needs to be tackled.

On May 25th, the tech giant published an official statement in which it detailed the functioning of the initiative developed by IBM in cooperation with the David Clark Cause (DCC), Linux Foundation, the United Nations Human Rights Office and the United States Red Cross. The call is directed to developers that create resources for the management of data, the blockchain technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

IBM and the rest of the entities behind this initiative consider the last decade to be one of the worst periods when it comes to natural disasters around the globe. These organizations believe the natural disasters could be prevented with this global initiative that is supposed to inspire the developers to create sustainable long-term solutions: “Mitigating natural disasters is one of the world’s greatest challenges. The past decade has been one of the worst periods for natural disasters and while weather events may be inevitable they don’t have to become so catastrophic.

That’s why we’re launching Call for Code, a worldwide, multi-year initiative that inspires developers to solve pressing global problems with sustainable software solutions.”

Ginni Rometty, the Chairman of IBM, gave a statement during the VivaTech Conference in Paris, France about the new initiative to tackle some of the most serious problems the world is facing these days. Rometty said the company will invest 30 million US dollars in the winning projects. These projects will receive development tools, technology, free code and training with experts, according to the Chairman of IBM. Likewise, the winners will count on a long-term support that should help them materialize their idea in the real world. This will be provided thanks to the Linux Foundation, which is responsible for the creation of the Hyperledger Project, a project that supports the development of blockchain applications.

Bob Lord, the Chief Digital Office at IBM, said the company had large technological capacity that would not be used only for enterprise solutions: “At IBM, we harness the power of technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT and cloud to address some of the biggest opportunities and challenges in business. Now, with Call for Code, we are calling on all developers to join us and use these same leading edge technologies to help people, their communities and society.”

Laurent Sauveur, head of external relations of the United Nations Human Rights Office, said: “Technology can be a powerful force to advance human rights and build more equitable societies. Call for Code is an excellent opportunity to explore how technology can play a role in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable populations and those who are at risk of having their human rights violated in the context of a humanitarian crisis.”

On the other hand, Brad Kieserman, the Vice PResident of Disaster Cycle Services at the American Red Cross, said the following: “Responding to large-scale national and international disasters is a team effort, and we are excited to leverage skills and insights from the tech industry to address global challenges. Partnerships and technology like this allow for smarter and faster response efforts, which are critical to help those in need more quickly and efficiently.”

When it comes to the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation said: “Winning submissions need a strong ecosystem to ensure that they will flourish and continue to be deployed across the globe long after the competition ends. That’s where The Linux Foundation is proud to step in and help equip open-source projects with the tools they need to accelerate adoption.”

Moreover, David Clark, the founder of the David Clark Cause, also talked about the new initiative led by IBM: “The Call for Code Global Initiative was created to realize the full potential of developers, as they play a critical role in driving innovation that can shape and save lives. When these change agents are inspired to use their unique skills to help people in need, they do. There could not be a more significant founding partner for this important global initiative than IBM, and I’m both privileged and honored they have answered the call.”

Andra Day is a GRAMMY-nominated singer and human rights advocate. She expressed her admiration for the Call for Code initiative launched by IBM: “I admire the mission of Call for Code, and how it aims to create technology based solutions to help people in need.”

All the interested developers can sign up for the initiative on its official website from June 18th, 2018 until August 31st this year. The projects could be presented by individuals or by teams of up to five people. Thirty semi finalists will be chosen in September this year. In October, 2018, the winner will be announced during a live event that will also include a concert. The entire event will be coordinate by the David Clark Cause.

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