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IBM's Call for Code of Cloud, Data, AI, Blockchain for Natural Disaster Relief

By Chrissie Cluney June 25, 2018

There is a significant need for the newest technology to be used when a group of first responders are reacting to a natural disaster.

IBM and partners launched the Call for Code Global Initiative. This is the largest and most ambitious effort to bring startup, academic and enterprise developers together to solve one of the most pressing societal issues of our time, which is preventing, responding to and recovering from natural disasters. 

Who is invited to take part in this initiative? Call for Code invites developers to create new applications to help communities and people better prepare for natural disasters. For example, developers may create an app that uses weather data and supply chain information to alert pharmacies to increase supplies of medicine, bottled water and other items based on predicted weather-related disruption. Or developers could create an app that predicts when and where the disaster will be the most severe, so emergency crews can be dispatched ahead of time in proper numbers to treat those in need.

Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, IBM, reached out to the technology industry to assist in build a better future, committing IBM technology and $30 million USD over five years in the annual Call for Code Global Initiative. Its goal is to unite the world's developers and tap into data and AI, blockchain, cloud and IoT technologies to address social challenges. 

Through the Call for Code, IBM and David Clark Cause are joining forces with the United Nations Human Rights Office and its human rights-based approach to humanitarian action. This humanitarian action focuses on securing the participation of affected groups in preparedness, response and recovery efforts, and bringing attention to the most excluded and marginalized populations.

IBM has invested this amount of money over a five-year period and the company will fund access to developer tools, technologies, free code and training with experts. The winning team will receive a financial prize. More rewarding, they will have access to long-term support to help move their idea from prototype to real-world application. This includes ongoing developer support through IBM's partnership with the Linux Foundation.

"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," said Bob Lord, chief digital officer, IBM. "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."

The Call for Code initiative integrates the American Red Cross's focus on new ways to bring support to disaster victims. This is especially important because 2017 ranked as one of the worst years on record for catastrophic events, including fires, floods, earthquakes and storms. 

"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," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Cycle Services, the American Red Cross. "Partnerships and technology like this allow for smarter and faster response efforts, which are critical to help those in need more quickly and efficiently."

If you or your company would like to take part in this initiative, the rewards will be endless.




Edited by Ken Briodagh
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