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IBM to make additional $25 million investment for disaster recovery tech

By on February 14, 2019

SAN JUAN – At its Think 2019 conference in San Francisco, global tech giant IBM, announced a $25 million, four-year initiative, “Code and Response,” to put open source technologies developed as part of coding challenges such as Call for Code in needy communities.

Code and Response includes resources to “build, fortify, test, and implement solutions at scale,” IBM said in a release, which explains that the initiative is supported by “hundreds of IBMers as part of the IBM Corporate Service Corps, as well as government and NGO partners to put those technologies to work saving lives.”

A partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University will also help provide college-age developers with skills and resources. Code and Response will pilot Project Owl, the winning solution from Call for Code 2018, in disaster-struck regions like Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Osaka and Kerala.

Code and Response will include implementation partners such as the non-profit Information Technology Disaster Resource Center that will offer feedback on Project Owl’s hardware and software configuration. The ITDRC will provide guidance in Puerto Rico “based on their extensive experience restoring network access on the island since hurricanes Irma and Maria,” IBM said.

“Every year natural disasters affect close to 160 million people worldwide,” said Bob Lord, IBM senior vice president, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems. “To take a huge leap forward in effective disaster response, we must tap into the global open source ecosystem to generate sustainable solutions we can scale and deploy in the field. But we cannot do it alone. It is only by working with venerable partners like the American Red Cross that we will see these technologies really come to life.”

IBM said that following “a highly successful first year when more than 100,000 developers submitted thousands of ideas for saving lives in the face of natural disasters,” Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty announced Call for Code 2019, “reaffirming the company’s five-year, $30 million commitment to social impact coding challenges.”

The goal is to “unite the world’s 23 million developers and data scientists to unleash the power of cloud, AI, blockchain and IoT technologies to create sustainable and scalable open source technologies,” with an emphasis this year on the “health and well-being of individuals and communities” threatened by natural disasters.

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