The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) launched the #DigitalAgainstCOVID-19 virtual challenge on Friday.
The challenge wants to crowdsource digital solutions and ideas to help countries in Asia and the Pacific deal with the medium- and long-term effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said a press release.
It will focus on four themes: health and well-being, education, economic development, and capacity enhancement of governments and ADB.
Digital technologies can be an important element of country responses to Covid-19 pandemic, said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. "This competition will generate digital ideas and solutions to help shape the new normal."
Many countries were caught off guard and have had to go digital overnight to deliver education," said AIM President, CEO, and Dean Jikyeong Kang. "We want to use this competition to explore potential solutions that may make online learning more fulfilling for both student and adult learner.
The virtual challenge will run throughout 2020. After each of the three rounds, three to five solutions will be pilot tested for three to nine months.
In early 2021, the most successful pilots will be recognised. The competition is open to startups, companies, universities, research organisations, students, and ADB employees.
The platform allows ADB to reach global problem solvers and collaborate with them in co-creating solutions. It has a network of 2,000 users, including hundreds of startups, located in 70 countries.
The ADB's Digital Innovation Sandbox programme, chaired by ADB Vice-President for Private Sector and Public–Private Partnerships Diwakar Gupta, is moderating the challenge. This is the third hackathon under the ADB–AIM collaboration.