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Innovation Challenge

Challenge is Complete
Combating COVID-19



Challenge Status: Challenge is Complete
Application Status: Closed

Key Dates

Challenge Begins: 03/25/2020
Challenge Closes: 05/06/2020
Solutions Due By: 06/15/2020
Winners Announced: 06/15/2020

The Fight Against COVID-19

From March 25th to May 6th, 2020, over 2000 young innovators from 74 different countries came together to join the fight against COVID-19. In response to the coronavirus outbreak and global shutdown, the New York Academy of Sciences invited creative problem-solvers from around the world to participate in the challenge for a chance to receive a $500 travel scholarship to attend the Global STEM Alliance Summit. The winning solution, GOvid-19, is a virtual assistant and chatbot that provides users with accurate pandemic-related information. Learn more about the winning solution and the solvers who designed them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic in March 2020. As scientists and public health experts rush to find solutions to contain the spread, existing and emerging technologies are proving to be valuable. In fact, governments and health care facilities have increasingly turned to technology to help manage the outbreak. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. Many countries are grappling with the rise in confirmed cases. It is urgent and crucial for us to discover ways to use technology to contain the outbreak and manage future public health emergencies.

The Challenge

The New York Academy of Sciences invited students ages 13-17 from around the world to participate in an open innovation challenge focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19 through technology-based solutions. Read the full challenge statement including the question and background here.

How It Works

After signing up to participate, students self-selected into teams and worked together on Launchpad, a virtual interactive platform that safely facilitates global collaboration and problem-solving. Using Launchpad, students from around the world participated, in teams or individually, to design a technology-based solution to the challenge question.

Grand Prize Winners


A virtual assistant that provides users with accurate information about government responses, emergency resources, statistics on COVID-19 while utilizing grassroots feedback, streamlining medical supply chains with blockchain and AI techniques address potential accessibiliy issues among the most vulnerable groups.


COVID Warriors – TISB Bangalore

A global centralized contract tracing solution that addresses the underlying issues of existing technology by integrating GPS and Bluetooth as well as combining RSSI modeling with analytics.


An AI-supported, 3D-printed rapid serological (saliva) testing kit and chest X-ray scan analyzer that detect SARS-CoV-2 in high-risk individuals, within the in- and out- patient settings.