UNDP and Hackster.io partner to launch a global innovation challenge to tackle COVID-19

April 14, 2020

New York/ Singapore, April 14 — The fight against COVID-19 is at a crucial tipping point, so the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Hackster.io, an Avnet company and the largest online open-source technology hardware community, are taking action. The two organizations have partnered to launch the COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge to create open-source technology that developing countries can leverage in the fight against this global pandemic.

The new design challenge is a call to action for all hardware and software developers, product designers, scientists, hackers, makers, innovators and inventors to come up with innovative ideas to cost-efficiently support COVID-19 response efforts in developing countries. There will be prizes and recognition awarded to the top ten solutions, and Avnet will provide support to accelerate the winners’ time to market by offering business consultation and access to engineering, design and manufacturing resources.

“The COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge aims to surface innovative solutions that developing countries can immediately use to tackle the pandemic -- that could be everything from new 3D-printable protective equipment to software that can detect future outbreaks,” said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.

“Utilising UNDP's global network and the diverse resources of our supporting partners, we will work with the winning creators to disseminate this knowledge  and assist those who are hardest hit by the pandemic.”

UNDP’s Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development, Singapore will work with country offices and partner tech companies to meet the needs of countries and regions with lack of resources where COVID-19 could have the greatest impact. UNDP will work with governments to help ensure regulations, procurement procedures, and policies to catalyse and make use of innovations.

“Through this challenge, our community at Hackster, the UNDP and Avnet’s technology partners are coming together to provide innovative solutions to get lifesaving technology to some of the world’s most vulnerable areas,” said Bill Amelio, CEO, Avnet. “We are proud to partner with the UNDP to activate local technology ecosystems to develop, shape and implement open-source solutions that can help detect and protect against COVID-19 around the world. It’s a truly global collaboration, with a longer-term and positive multiplier effect.”

This global challenge builds on exciting initiatives like the 'Global Hack' and others that are galvanizing the broader tech community to find urgent solutions for COVID-19.

The challenge is open through the summer of 2020. For more information and to submit your challenge please visit https://www.covid19detectprotect.org .

Our Partners in COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge: HacksterAmazon AWSNXPArduinoNordic SemiMicrosoftEdge ImpulseThe Things NetworkArm, Google, Soracom, SG Innovate, Adafruit, Balena

For any questions that you may have on the COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge please send them to registry.sg@undp.org

Media Contacts:

UNDP New York: Sangita Khadka, Sangita.khadka@undp.org; +1 212 906 5043

Avnet: Jeanne Forbis; jeanne.forbis@avnet.com; 480-643-7499                                         

Brodeur Partners, for Avnet: Alex Jafarzadeh; ajafarzadeh@brodeur.com; 617-587-2846

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.www.undp.org.

About Avnet

Avnet is a global technology solutions provider with an extensive ecosystem delivering design, product, marketing and supply chain expertise for customers at every stage of the product lifecycle. We transform ideas into intelligent solutions, reducing the time, cost and complexities of bringing products to market. For nearly a century, Avnet has helped its customers and suppliers around the world realize the transformative possibilities of technology. Learn more about Avnet at www.avnet.com and its Hackster community at www.Hackster.io.