The third round of the “Pandemic TechHack” national initiative, supporting the development of innovative technological solutions as Egypt battles the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has been launched.
The initiative was set up in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Health and Population. Also involved in the initiative are the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, and non-profit organisation, CRDF Global.
The third round, entitled “Innovation for Biosafety”, aims to support innovative solutions for biosafety issues. The platform encourages cooperation between Egyptian institutions and international experts.
The hackathon’s Director Moataz Billah Al-Sharif said that over 90 projects are taking part in the third round, with the jury looking to select the top 10 teams.
The winners will receive the financial support they need to help accelerate the implementation of their projects, and provide the community with the best new solutions as quickly as possible.
This hackathon includes several aspects, namely diagnostics, Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance, Prevention and Control of Infection and Waste Management, and Public Communications on Risks.
Urszula Velez, Director of Biosafety Programs at CRDF Global, said the NGO aims to encourage innovative and sustainable technological solutions that can be used to combat the devastating effects of the coronavirus. She added that for over 20 years, CRDF Global has been involved in promoting global biosafety issues.
The hackathon’s first round, which saw over 150 participants with the 10 best ideas selected for implementation, started on 8 March as a general tour in fighting the epidemic.
The second round aimed to develop innovations and solutions for coping with the pandemic and its various challenges. The second round was set up following discussions with several different sectors in Egypt on the challenges they face due to the pandemic. Over 250 applications were received from projects aiming to provide solutions for these challenges, and ease the adoption of coexistence plans as the country gradually opens up.