UNDP and Hackster.io Team Up To Launch Challenge To Develop Open-Source Technology To Fight COVID-19

  • The challenge aims to create open-source technology that developing countries can use to fight COVID-19.
  • It is open through the summer of 2020

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Hackster.io, an Avnet company ( also one of the largest online open-source technology hardware communities) have joined hands to launch the COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge. Through this, they aim to create open-source technology that developing countries can use to fight COVID-19. The challenge is open through the summer of 2020.

Business consultation

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

UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner said, “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. 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.”

Partner tech companies

UNDP’s Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development, Singapore will work with country offices and partner tech companies. They will work to meet the needs of countries. UNDP will also work with governments to help ensure regulations, procurement procedures, and policies to make use of innovations.

Bill Amelio, CEO, Avnet said, “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. 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.”


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