Developer Hackathons to Combat COVID-19

Organizations across the world have been joining forces to host global hackathons aimed at solving the myriad issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. ProgrammableWeb has been tacking these competitions to provide developers with details on how to get involved. 

2020 Call for Code

Call for Code is an annual competition, hosted in part by its Founding Partner IBM, whose initial focus was combating climate change. The scope has since been expanded to include COVID-19. The Challenge is ongoing with submissions being accepted through July 31, 2020. Make sure to check out ProgrammableWeb’s full coverage. UPDATE: IBM provided ProgrammableWeb with an updated timeline "We also recognize the urgency to act -- to identify, build, and deploy solutions -- so we have created an accelerated timeline for the COVID-19 Call for Code track. The initial submission deadline is Monday April 27th, and we'll announce three top solutions on Tuesday, May 5th. Our goal is to work quickly to partner with those teams to get their innovations out in the field, while keeping the track open through July to continually source and showcase more COVID-19 solutions until we announce our global challenge winners in October."


The #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon is hosted by the World Health Organization, along with various tech partners including Facebook, Microsoft, Slack, Twitter, and WeChat. The competition provides excellent resources for participating developers and is accepting submissions now. This challenge ends soon, so developers should make sure to get involved ASAP. Full coverage of the event can be found here

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Design Challenge

This event is being hosted by the Graduate Student Organizing Committee at Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design (CBID). This competition had a deadline of March 24th to submit applications. Although this deadline has passed, ProgrammableWeb will update this document to include results from the competition. 


The Hack Quarantine competition is hosted by GitHub and HackathonsUK. The event runs from March 23rd to April 12th. This global, virtual hackathon is about "bringing people together to use their skills to help combat the issues the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic." To sign up head over to the DevPost page and then check out the competition's Discord server for more details


This 72h non-profit online hackathon begins on March 27, 5 pm CET. Developers need to register an hour before the event begins and can do that here. The event is being hosted by the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), and the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). The event has partnered with HackZurich for support. The goal of the hackathon is to "develop open-source prototypes, which contribute to solving the most pressing challenges in the current crisis."

Coronathon for India

This hackathon is an ongoing event that began on March 22, 2020, and will continue until the crisis stabilizes. The hackathon will feature weekly presentations where finished and in-progress work will be displayed. The event homepage notes that "the organizing team and advisors will help any promising project with financial help or resources or guidance." The hackathon is being moderated via Slack and developers can jump into the conversation here

Skillsme Online Hackathon

The New Zealand based company is hosting a hackathon that features mentorship and awards voted on by the developer community. The announcement notes that "the Skillsme Online Hackathon will release information and materials one week before opening portfolio submission. And there will be two further weeks for all developers to form a team, make plans, work on the portfolios before the submission is due." The schedule shows that topics will be announced on March 30th, but the event is already assigning mentors. Developers can go here to signup


The CoVIDathon Decentralized AI against COVID-19 hackathon begins April 1. DAIA, Ocean Protocol and SingularityNET are teaming up to organize the event. There are four tracks of focus: Privacy and Sovereignty, Medicine and Epidemiology, Informational and Coping Tools, and Open Innovation. Prizes will include tokens donated by DAIA member AI/ Blockchain projects. More information is available on this Medium post, and interested parties can register here.

CoronaHack - AI vs. Covid-19

This virtual hackathon will be held April 18 and 19 with the aim of "bringing together biomedical and data scientists to explore ways to combat CoronaVirus." The event is organized by mindstream-ai, an Artificial Intelligence consultancy based in London. Developers can register at this Eventbrite page.


#HackRemote is a virtual hackathon solving issues around remote work. Ireland's What The Hack and mobile app Platform Thunkable have teamed up to create this hackathon to design tech-based solutions for remote working problems. The idea is to mold the future of remote working, with considerations such as disability awareness, aging population, COVID for the blind, celebrating neurodiversity in remote work, working from home with children, and more. Interested developers can sign up here.

Versus Virus

This 48-hour event is slated to take place online from April 3 through April 5. The hackathon is initiated by various agencies and partners in Switzerland. The goal is to develop digital or analog prototypes that work together for several areas including protection of risk groups, trustable data vs. fake news, isolation and mental health, hospital and medical care, families, crime reduction, and others. Interested developers can register and get more information here.

hackseqRNA COVID-19 Ultra-Hackathon

hackseqRNA COVID-19 Ultra-Hackathon runs online from May 22 - 24, with 1-day coding "sprints" scheduled for April 4, and May 2. This event is a joint effort from Canada's hackseq hacking group plus the RNA Society and emphasizes research-oriented open science projects to fight COVID-19. Interested developers can register and get more information here.

LauzHack Against COVID-19

LauzHack Against COVID-19 is a 72-hour remote hackathon that starts on April 3. The hackathon is being presented by EPFL, a Swiss science and technology institution, and LauzHack, EPFL's largest, annual, student-run hackathon. Developers and others can sign up as a mentor for the participating students.

Pandemic Response Hackathon

The Pandemic Response Hackathon runs online from March 27 through March 29. This hackathon is The goal is to "bring public health professionals alongside the technology community's talent to contribute to the world's response to this and future pandemics." Projects are divided into four tracks: Public Health Information Sharing, Epidemiology & Science of the Disease, Keeping our Health Workers Safe, and Second-Order Societal Impacts. Spotlight Projects will be presented on a conference call on Wednesday April 1 at 4pm PST / 7 pm EST. Interested parties can register here and join the participant Slack channel.

This is a growing list that ProgrammableWeb will be updating as more events are launched. If you are hosting an event make sure to reach out to so that we can get your event included in this list. 

Be sure to read the next Coronavirus article: New York State Announces COVID-19 Technology SWAT Team