Deadline: June 30, 2020 00:00 (CEST)| Apply here
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Eligibility: You must be at least 13 years of age; residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria are not eligible

COVID-19 Detect & Protect Challenge 2020

COVID-19 is unprecedented global health and humanitarian emergency. It threatens to create devastating social, economic, and political crises that could leave deep scars for years to come. This impact could reverse the progress made in tackling global poverty over the past 20 years, putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

In addition to the many lives at stake, developing countries could lose at least US$220 billion in income. COVID-19 could have an enormous and tragic longer-term impact, with the potential for mass unemployment, the further weakening of already-fragile health systems; and the risk of increasing inequality, marginalization, and poverty. In some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, the impact of COVID-19 could be catastrophic.

This extraordinary global situation demands a global response. As an answer, the United Nations Development Programme and are joining forces with the world’s brightest technology companies. We are calling on hardware and software developers, product designers, scientists, hackers, makers, and innovators to come together to work for those who will be hardest hit by this pandemic.

The UNDP is calling on Hackster’s global community to support developing countries through the sharing and transfer of open source technology

As COVID-19 has shown, challenge and crisis cross borders – impacting everywhere on Earth. However, innovation and ingenuity are not constrained by geography. The COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge is an opportunity to find and apply the best and brightest of humanity, wherever it may be found.

A panel of judges will review and select the top 10 open source solutions on a rolling basis through 2020. Winners will receive global recognition and a variety of awards for their contribution to society and humankind. Using the UNDP’s vast global network and resources from all supporting partners, we’ll work with the winning creators on the best way to transfer the knowledge to those who need it most.

This challenge has three priority actions:

  1. Design replicable, low-cost tools to aid in coronavirus detection
  2. Flatten the curve in communities with preventive solutions
  3. Reduce the disease’s impact on economies of these vulnerable areas

Detect & Protect

Harness your skills to aid citizens and healthcare providers with everyday tools that support the diagnosis of the coronavirus and future outbreaks. Computer vision thermometers, smart oximeters, cloud-based heatmaps and apps, data science-backed insight, open-source hardware, or advanced computational models — all are welcome.

Imagine and invent apparatuses that help slow down the spread of the disease. 3D-printable protective equipment, easy-to-assemble hand sanitizing dispensers, public alerts, mass broadcasting tools, contamination monitoring, rapid face mask production with advanced or everyday materials — there are no limits.

Available resources


The UNDP COVID-19 Detect and Protect Award – 10 winners

  • $1,500 value
  • UNDP recognition badge and certificate, NXP HoverGames drone and telemetry radio, and $1,000 Visa gift card

The Hackster Impact Detect Award – 10 winners

  • $500 value
  • A Hackster Impact recognition badge, an NVIDIA Jetson Kit, a Soracom Global SIM card with $50 in credits, and a $100 Visa gift card.

The Hackster Impact Protect Award – 10 winners

  • $500 value
  • A Hackster Impact recognition badge, Coral Dev Board from Google, a Soracom Global SIM card with $50 in credits, and a $100 Visa gift card.

Interested in applying for the COVID-19 Detect & Protect Challenge 2020? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.

For more opportunities, check our opportunities section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.