COVID-19 Grand Challenge Winners announced

Friday, 11 December, 2020

COVID-19 Grand Challenge Winners announced, an enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) software provider for accelerating digital transformation, has announced the winners of the COVID-19 Grand Challenge.

Launched on 15 September, the global competition encouraged developers, data scientists, students and creative minds to build world-class data science techniques and strategies that accelerate novel COVID-19 research and drive smart and safe decision-making. It represented an opportunity to inform decision-makers at the local, state and federal levels and transform the way the world confronts this pandemic.

Submissions were reviewed on the basis of their scientific merit; the use of AI, machine learning and/or other data science techniques; and the incorporation of at least two data sources from the COVID-19 Data Lake. The evaluation process also considered the extent to which the derived data science insights, if implemented at scale, will result in significant public health and economic benefit.

The judging panel selected seven research projects for recognition and will distribute a total of US$200,000 in cash prizes among the research teams. They said each of these teams has developed meaningful data-driven insights that will not only help the global community understand and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but also prepare the world to fight future pandemics, improve the medical community’s ability to respond and help policymakers navigate decisions about COVID-19.

The Grand Challenge award winners are listed below.

Grand Prize (US$100,000)

Combined Diagnostics — Modeling Population Heterogeneity and Personalized COVID Diagnostics

This project predicts an individual’s infectious and susceptibility status and probability of having COVID-19. The team applied the Bayesian Stochastic Expectation-Maximization method to demographics, individual health characteristics, and behavioural and geographical data to provide personalised estimates for each individual’s infectious and susceptibility statuses.

Second-place awards (US$25,000 each)

DeepOutbreak: Framework for Forecasting Dynamics of COVID-19 and Co-Evolving Diseases

This project models the progression of COVID-19 and symptomatically similar co-evolving influenza-like illnesses, as well as hospitalisation and mortality rates. It is designed to optimise healthcare deployment, which is especially important with hospitalisations resurging and healthcare workers increasingly becoming ill.

Assessing Conservation Level of Therapeutic and Vaccine Targets of COVID-19

This project predicts the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutics by genome sequences and prioritises relevant treatments to inform drug and vaccine development.

Third-place awards (US$12,500 each)

Analysis of COVID-19 Policies’ Impact on the Population and the Economy

This project calculates the impact of government policies on COVID-19 infection rates, stock prices and a population’s mobility to inform governments about how policies affect people and the economy.

COVIDProf: An Intelligent Q&A Chatbot Tuned to Deliver Scientific Research and Data Related to COVID-19 in Natural Language

This project makes finding and understanding relevant COVID-19 scientific research and data easier for the average person through an intelligent Q&A chatbot.

Structural Modeling of COVID Spread in Relation to Human Mobility

This project models causal relationships between human mobility indicators (trips, distance travelled, staying at home and social distancing) and COVID-19 spread to inform how policymakers should take action.

The Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) COVID Linear Programming

This is an online tool for reopening communities that enables decision-makers to study hypothetical scenarios to inform planning and protect high-risk individuals.

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