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Call for Code seeks open-source solutions to help tackle climate change

IBM's Call For Code 2021 offers startups $200,000 and mentorship through the Linux Foundation

IBM logo on the side of a building

IBM’s coalition is sending out its annual call for startups to develop innovative open-source technology to tackle global issues. This time, the focus is climate change.

Call for Code is returning for a fourth year and encouraging applications to tackle climate change issues. The winner will receive a $200,000 prize and mentorship from IBM. 

The contest is run in partnership with the David Clark Cause, the Linux Foundation and the United Nations Human Rights Office. 

Successful applications will be supported through the Linux Foundation and developed through IBM’s Code and Response initiative – a four-year program that moves the new application around IBM’s worldwide community for testing and eventual launch. 

The Call for Code initiative has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations and has generated more than 15,000 applications. 

Call for Code aims to drive immediate and lasting humanitarian progress worldwide through the creation of practical applications built on open-source-powered software, including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, atmospheric data from IBM's Weather Company. It also includes developer resources and APIs from partners like Intuit and New Relic.

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“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and we must apply our collective ingenuity and cutting-edge technologies to make a lasting difference,” said Ruth Davis, director of Call for Code at IBM. “Together with our ecosystem of partners, IBM will work with the winning team to incubate and deploy their solution in communities where it's most needed, just as we’ve done with past winners.”

Last year's winning solution, Agrolly, is an app that supports small farmers by providing climate and crop predictions and recommendations. 

Since October, the Agrolly team has expanded its solution to new markets and provided hands-on training to over 500 rural farmers across Mongolia, India and Brazil, who are testing and using the app to fight the effects of climate change. Agrolly is also working with the IBM Service Corps on a deployment plan to improve and test its technology in the coming months.

Call for Code has generated more than 30 solutions that are being field-tested in a series of deployments, including 12 open-source projects hosted by the Linux Foundation, enabling these projects to evolve through the power of the open-source community.

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