Apps challenge to tackle Covid in Bahrain

The Covid-19 Challenge will be the programme’s first global virtual hackathon

  

Coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers and technologists from Bahrain are being encouraged to join an international virtual hackathon to design apps to combat Covid-19 using space data.

Today is the final day to register for Nasa’s Space Apps Covid-19 Challenge, where thousands of teams will work together to understand the human and economic response to the coronavirus outbreak by using data provided by space agencies from around the world.

The virtual hackathon will be held on May 30 and 31, with teams from around the world given 48 hours to use Earth observation data to propose solutions to Covid-19 related challenges ranging from studying the virus itself and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the global system. Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency (NSSA), which is organising the country’s participation in the event in collaboration with Clever Play Education and Training, said the hackathon is open to anyone.

It explained that Nasa, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are inviting coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists and technologists to take part in the virtual event.

“There’s a tremendous need for our collective ingenuity right now,” said Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen.

“I can’t imagine a more worthy focus than Covid-19 on which to direct the energy and enthusiasm from around the world with the Space Apps Challenge that always generates such amazing solutions.”

Space Apps is an international hackathon that takes place in cities around the world since 2012 and teams have engaged with Nasa’s free and open data to address real-world problems on Earth and in space.

The Covid-19 Challenge will be the programme’s first global virtual hackathon, with Space Apps 2019 included more than 29,000 participants at 225 events in 71 countries, developing more than 2,000 hackathon solutions over the course of one weekend.

To register visit the NSSA website, nssa.gov.bh, and the submissions will be reviewed between Monday and Wednesday.

The teams will be announced on Thursday, with the event being held on May 30 and May 31. Meanwhile, the GDN previously reported that the NSSA is planning to launch two CubeSats, a type of miniature satellite for space research, within two years.

The space agency has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian Space Research Organisation to enhance co-operation in outer space research and its uses for development purposes.

The purpose of this agreement is to support the efforts of NSSA in the field of space and its technical applications, through the exchange of experiences and knowledge with ISRO to contribute to building national capacities in this field, in addition to supporting scientific research efforts and the implementation of joint projects.ghazi@gdn.com.bh

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