Data science competition to tackle COVID-19

Thursday, 01 October, 2020

Data science competition to tackle COVID-19, an enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) software provider for accelerating digital transformation, is encouraging data scientists, developers, researchers and creative thinkers from around the world to participate in the COVID-19 Grand Challenge. The competition invites participants to leverage data science techniques in new and innovative ways to generate insights that previously were neither apparent nor achievable.

In response to the acute challenges the world faces, the judging panel will prioritise data science projects that help us understand and mitigate the spread of the virus; improve the response capabilities of the medical community; minimise the impact of this disease on society; and help policymakers navigate responses to COVID-19. The judges will evaluate submissions on the extent to which they derive insights, leveraging data science techniques (eg, statistical analyses, AI/ML algorithms, optimisation approaches, etc) that were not obvious before.

Projects may address, but are not limited to:

  • Applying machine learning and other AI methods to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Genome-specific COVID-19 medical protocols, including precision medicine of host responses.
  • Biomedical informatics methods for drug design and repurposing.
  • Design and sharing of clinical trials for collecting data on medications, therapies and interventions.
  • Modelling, simulation and prediction for understanding COVID-19 propagation and efficacy of interventions.
  • Logistics and optimisation analysis for design of public health strategies and interventions.
  • Rigorous approaches to designing sampling and testing strategies.
  • Data analytics for COVID-19 research harnessing private and sensitive data.
  • Improving societal resilience in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Broader efforts in biomedicine, infectious disease modelling, response logistics and optimisation, public health efforts, tools and methodologies around the containment of rising infectious diseases and response to pandemics.

As part of the competition, applicants will be required to use the COVID-19 Data Lake as a resource to generate new and innovative solutions. Claimed to be the largest unified, federated image of COVID-19 data in the world, researchers and developers worldwide can access this free, open-source resource to build models, run analytics, develop tools and more, without the time and effort of data wrangling.

“The COVID-19 Grand Challenge represents an opportunity to inform decision-makers at the local, state and federal levels and transform the way the world confronts this pandemic,” said CEO Thomas M Siebel. “[T]his initiative will tap our community’s collective IQ to make important strides toward necessary, innovative solutions that will help solve a global crisis.” will announce seven competition winners, each of which will have their work published by the company and receive a share of US$200,000 in cash prizes. There will be one Grand Prize of US$100,000, two second-place awards of US$25,000 each and four third-place awards of US$12,500 each.

The competition is now open, with a registration deadline of 25 October, a submission deadline of 18 November and winners to be announced by 9 December. For more information, visit

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