Business Wire

XPRIZE and Cognizant Announce Grand Prize Winners in Pandemic Response Challenge to Restart Economies Around the World

Share

XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, in partnership with Cognizant(Nasdaq: CTSH), one of the world's leading technology and professional services companies, today announced the Grand Prize Winners in the $500K Pandemic Response Challenge. The four-month global competition was designed to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence in equipping policymakers, health officials and business leaders with the insights and guidance necessary to implement public safety measures that help keep local economies open while minimizing virus outbreaks as vaccines become more widely available. These decision-makers are encouraged to use the results, methodologies and technology from the challenge as reference on approaches to minimize potential outbreaks, now and moving forward.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210309005419/en/

Winning first place honors isthe VALENCIA IA4COVID19 (Valencia, Spain) team, coordinated by Dr. Nuria Oliver, Commissioner of the Presidency of the Generalitat Valenciana, and J. Alberto Conejero, Director of the Applied Mathematics Department at Universitat Politècnica de València. In second place is JSI vs COVID (Ljubljana, Slovenia), coordinated by Mitja Lustrek, Head of the Ambient Intelligence Group at the Jozef Stefan Institute, whose team members were previous competitors in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. These top-performing teams were selected from among 48 finalists in 17 countries. Both teams will share equally the total prize purse of $500,000, however judges have chosen to distinguish team VALENCIA IA4COVID19 as first place due to their exemplary submissions. In total, over 100 teams throughout the world initially joined the competition.

The Pandemic Response Challenge required teams to build effective data-driven AI systems capable of accurately predicting COVID-19 transmission rates and prescribing intervention and mitigation measures that, with testing in “what-if” scenarios, were shown to minimize infection rates as well as negative economic impacts. The winning models will be made available to policymakers, business leaders, and health officials worldwide as they consider strategies for safely reopening society and restoring the global economy.

"We are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of the Pandemic Response Challenge, and are extremely grateful to Cognizant for their support during this competition,” said Amir Banifatemi, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer of XPRIZE. “This month marks a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak globally, and since then we have sought out various ways in which XPRIZE can help to identify and accelerate possible solutions for COVID-19 as well as strategies to keep people safe while mitigating for a back to normal world. Our hope now is to implement the methodology and technology identified via this challenge into emergency response plans for local governments worldwide, utilizing artificial intelligence to better protect everyone – from the most vulnerable in our society to the most essential workers – against future pandemics.”

“We salute the ingenuity and dedication of the two winning teams of the Pandemic Response Challenge, VALENCIA IA4COVID19 and JSI vs COVID, and thank all who participated in this global competition,” said Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant. “It’s amazing what can happen when you bring together creative minds in data science, computer programming, machine learning, and epidemiology. Their data-driven, AI-based models will help policy makers and health officials safely restart economies and learn how to harness these technologies to tackle future public health crises.”

Contestants’ AI models were evaluated by an independent judging panel comprising academics, pandemic response specialists, AI experts, and epidemiologists, among others. Both grand prize-winning teams succeeded in creating effective models and meeting judging criteria that included both quantitative metrics and qualitative factors such as:

  • Actionability and Usability of the models in real-world settings;
  • Inclusivity and Fairness, which assessed how the models take into account particularly vulnerable groups;
  • Collaborative Contributions that awarded teams who created open source models or contributed data and models for the shared success of all;
  • Innovation, which considered whether teams found innovative ways to extend the scope of the Challenge

Complete judging criteria and Challenge guidelines are available on the XPRIZE website.

VALENCIA IA4COVID19 has collaborated with the Valencian government since March 2020 to leverage data science in the fight against COVID-19. Ultimately, the team’s winning model successfully forecasted epidemiological evolution through their use of AI and data science. JSI vs COVID worked to develop accurate predictors of COVID-19 infections using a combination of a SEIR epidemiological model and machine learning. Through the Challenge, both teams hope to achieve more accurate models for predicting the evolution of COVID-19 that can be used in their respective countries and beyond.

In addition to the two grand prize winners, eight other teams have received honorable mentions and will each receive $3,000 in AWS credits for cloud and compute services, courtesy of AWS, a supporting partner of the Challenge. These teams are:

  • metis2020 (Los Angeles, Calif., US)
  • mvsm (Berlin, Germany)
  • CoronaSurveys (Madrid, Spain)
  • Nixtamal AI (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Shanvi (San Diego, Calif., US)
  • Kangaroos (Ultimo, Australia)
  • ADVANCE4COVID (Rochester, NY, US)
  • Nebraska team (Omaha, Neb., US)

All teams competing in the Pandemic Response Challenge used Cognizant’s foundational research and Evolutionary AI™ modeling as a baseline, building out their models using data compiled by the Oxford COVID-19 Government response tracker (based at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government). The Pandemic Response Challenge was first launched in November 2020, and comprised two phases:

  • Phase 1, concluded in January 2021: Contestants analyzed local COVID-19 data, existing intervention strategies, and common mitigation policies to develop and test prediction models capable of anticipating global infection spikes.
  • Phase 2, concluded in February 2021: Contestants developed a “prescriptor” model, which could suggest realistic intervention plans for reopening global economies while minimizing the number of COVID-19 cases and the cost of deploying intervention plans.

To facilitate development of their proposed solutions, teams were offered free cloud and computing services from AWS.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a vast spectrum of unprecedented government and community interventions. The Pandemic Response Challenge used the most advanced AI technology, coupled with some of the most creative minds in the fields of data science, computer programming, machine learning, and more, to jumpstart new strategies for effectively reopening societies and restarting economies safely for everyone – as well as test scenarios that might be applied going forward.

Moving forward, XPRIZE and Cognizant, along with International Telecommunication Union (ITU), are expanding these efforts beyond the scope of this competition to one of a public platform and ecosystem that encourages the convening of AI and data while enabling the contributions of experts and thought leaders of the global community of public health. Details of the public platform will be announced soon. Those interested in joining and contributing to these efforts are encouraged to contact XPRIZE at pandemicresponse@xprize.org.

Learn more by watching this film explaining the Pandemic Response Challenge.

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal, $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $15M XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million XPRIZE Rainforest, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, $6 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing, $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, and $500K Pandemic Response Challenge. For more information, visit xprize.org.

About COGNIZANT

Cognizant (Nasdaq-100: CTSH) is one of the world's leading professional services companies, transforming clients' business, operating and technology models for the digital era. Our unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient businesses. Headquartered in the U.S., Cognizant is ranked 194 on the Fortune 500 and is consistently listed among the most admired companies in the world. Learn how Cognizant helps clients lead with digital at www.cognizant.com or follow us @Cognizant.

Contact information

Sunshine Sachs
xprize@sunshinesachs.com

Nicole Ryan, XPRIZE
prcontact@xprize.org

Jodi Sorensen, Cognizant
jodi.sorensen@cognizant.com

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire
24 Martin Lane
EC4R 0DR London

+44 20 7626 1982http://www.businesswire.co.uk

(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

RubrYc Therapeutics Announces a Research Collaboration and License Option Agreement With Zai Labs14.4.2021 02:00:00 CEST | Press release

RubrYc Therapeutics, Inc., a pre-clinical biotherapeutics company developing epitope selective therapies, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and license option agreement with Zai Labs, Inc. for the use of RubrYc’s Meso-scale Engineered Molecules (MEMs) platform, to identify monoclonal antibodies with enhanced biological function for an undisclosed oncology target. Under the terms of the agreement RubrYc and Zai Labs will collaborate to identify product candidates using RubrYc’s Discovery Engine, which leverages machine learning and structural data to identify antibodies that bind to subdominant epitopes and exhibit differentiated activity. Upon exercise of the license option Zai Labs would have exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize product(s) of the Research Collaboration. RubrYc Therapeutics, Inc. will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive future research, development and commercialization milestones on a per candidate basi

CGTN: A City on the Rebound: How Hong Kong Can Move Forward13.4.2021 19:57:00 CEST | Press release

The past two years have been tough on the world, not just due to the pandemic but also the geopolitical volatility that has roiled many countries and regions. In East Asia, the financial hub of Hong Kong has experienced its fair share of difficulties, but as life slowly returns to normal, problems that have plagued the city for decades remain. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210413006039/en/ (Photo: Business Wire) The city's brief history is well-documented – its humble industrialization in the 1970s coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit of its residents saw it become a bastion of wealth at a time when that part of the world was still economically stagnant. Coupled with a liberalized financial system and generous policies, the city catapulted itself toward the top, competing with mega-cities such as London and New York City. For all its glitz and glamour, Hong Kong contained contradictions that boiled over i

Tigo Intellectual Property Infringement Lawsuit against APS Continues to Grow13.4.2021 19:53:00 CEST | Press release

Tigo Energy, Inc., the solar industry worldwide leader in Flex-MLPE (Module Level Power Electronics), has filed a new lawsuit against Altenergy Power Systems (“APsystems”), in addition to its current ongoing case. The complaint includes four new patent infringement claims, as well as an additional claim from a patent asserted in the previously-filed lawsuit. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The total number of Patents-in-Suit in both cases now stands at six. The complaint includes all APsystems legal entities in the US as well as in China. The new complaint alleges that APsystems’ Sunspec-compliant products infringe the following U.S. patents: 8,653,689, 9,584,021, 9,966,848, 10,333,405, and 8,933,321. The complaint centers around various systems and methods used in the PV module rapid shutdown unit. Tigo’s industry leading solar equipment provides optimized, monitored and safe solar to protect this critical infrastruc

Maxon Announces Cinema 4D S2413.4.2021 18:05:00 CEST | Press release

Maxon, the developers of professional software solutions for motion designers and visual effects artists, today announced Cinema 4D Subscription Release 24 (S24). The latest subscription-only release of Maxon’s 3D application allows users to easily browse and obtain models, materials and other assets, and to intuitively place them within the scene. The release also includes key workflow enhancements and a sneak peek at continued progress on the Scene Nodes and Scene Manager interfaces to the new core. Cinema 4D S24 is immediately available for subscription customers. For perpetual license holders of Cinema 4D a release is scheduled later this year that will incorporate the features of S24, as well as future enhancements. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210413005918/en/ Maxon Cinema 4D S24 features placement tools, a new asset browser, animation workflow enhancements, and continued development on powerful nodes

Maxon Announces Redshift for macOS Including Native Support for M1-Powered Macs13.4.2021 18:05:00 CEST | Press release

Today, Maxon announced the immediate availability of Redshift for macOS including support for M1-powered Macs as well as Apple’s Metal Graphics API. Redshift, the award-winning, production-ready renderer, offers a rich feature set including ray switches, flexible shading networks, motion blur, AOVs, deep output, layered EXR and much more. Unlike other GPU renderers, Redshift is a biased renderer that enables artists to adjust the quality of individual techniques in order to get the best performance/quality balance for production. As a Universal solution, Redshift is optimized for high-end performance across both M1- and Intel-powered Macs. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210413005903/en/ Redshift for macOS signifies a milestone, bringing cutting-edge cinematic rendering to Mac artists. (Graphic: Business Wire) Redshift for macOS signifies a milestone, bringing cutting-edge cinematic rendering to Mac artists. A

Golden Euro-spiller tok rekordgevinst på € 3 millioner13.4.2021 17:29:00 CEST | Pressemelding

Champagnen flyter og feiringen er godt i gang hos Golden Euro Casino, etter at en heldig spiller tok jackpoten og vant en monstergevinst på € 3 746 291. Spillerens gevinst kom på Realtime Gamings enormt populære automat Aztec Millions. Det er den største gevinsten gjennom tidene på det progressive jackpotspillet, og hos Golden Euro. For å starte økten gjorde den 49 år gamle spilleren et kredittkortinnskudd på € 27, og hentet Golden Euros ettertraktede innskuddsbonus på 50 %. Dermed hadde hun € 54 til å spille med. Gevinsten kom fra en liten enkeltinnsats på € 5 plassert fra smarttelefonen hennes. Da hjulene stoppet opp og jackpoten ble utløst, ble spilleren umiddelbart mangemillionær. Adrian Berger hos Golden Euro Casino uttaler: “Vi er så glade for at en av spillerne våre har landet den største jackpotgevinsten noensinne på Realtime Gamings Aztec Millions. “Jeg snakket med spilleren kort tid etter at hun bekreftet gevinsten sin og hun var utrolig opprømt, selv om det at hun nå er en m

Agthia Embarks on Transformational Journey with its Strategy to Become an F&B Leader by 202513.4.2021 17:06:00 CEST | Press release

Agthia Group PJSC revealed its long-term strategy to become an F&B leader in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) region and beyond by 2025. The strategy is built on three strategic pillars (growth, efficiency and capability) and is designed to extend the Group’s market leadership, provide significant value for all stakeholders and continue to drive profitability growth with a consumer-centric approach. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210413005841/en/ Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi - Chairman - Agthia Group (Photo: AETOSWire) The Abu Dhabi-based organisation is engaged in manufacturing, distribution and marketing of a wide range of F&B products, including popular regional brands such as Al Ain (water), Al Foah (dates), Al Faysal Bakery & Sweets (bakery) and Grand Mills (flour and bakery) among others. Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chairman, Agthia Group, said: “The strategy will unleash the full potentia