• MIT Covid-19 Challenge: Beat the Pandemic II

    "Beat the Pandemic II": Join the MIT COVID-19 Challenge

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Experts from a wide range of disciplines can now apply as participants or mentors for the second „Beat the Pandemic" hackathon until May 26. The virtual event, which takes place from May 29-31, as part of the publicly announced MIT COVID-19 Challenge series will focus on the most pressing issues that have arisen after several month of the ongoing pandemic. Berlin life science companies along with other prominent players of the Brain City Berlin have joined as partners.

For month, the Covid-19 virus has been challenging the world with new issues. After the first weeks of containing and fighting the pandemic, questions such as "How can we safely return to 'normality'?" or "How can we prepare for a resurgence of Corona?" arise. 

Looking for innovative approaches to combat the crisis, the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has launched the MIT-COVID-19 Challenge Series "Beat the Pandemic". The idea of the worldwide hackathon is to bring together the knowledge of experts from different disciplines to find unusual solutions for current problems. Participants from science, industry, universities, government and non-profit organizations, amongst others, will work virtually in interdisciplinary teams for 48 hours. The best of the ideas will be selected by a jury of experts and then implemented together with partners of the challenge.

Berlin companies and institutions are also supporting the event - such as Bayer, Takeda, Johnson & Johnson and Berlin Partner. The health care industry in the Brain City region has already joined forces in the fight against COVID-19 in recent weeks with various virtual competitions and corporate initiatives.

Anyone with a professional or academic background who wants to make a difference and enjoys working in a team can participate in the challenge. Technical or medical know-how is welcome, but not required. The organizers are looking for active team players, but also mentors. Students can also apply. The hackathon also offers all participants the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts from various fields and network along the way. 

Like the first public hackathon of the MIT COVID-19 Challenge Series in April, the schedule of the event is structured clearly: On May 29th, teams of five to seven participants will work together on solutions for key problems. Over the weekend, mentors will support the teams in refining their ideas. And on May 31 their work will finally be presented to a jury. The teams with the most promising ideas will further develop and possibly implement their solutions after the hackathon with the assistance of partners of the event. They will also receive a small prize money.

For the first MIT hackathon "Beat the Pandemic I”, about 4,500 volunteers applied. Of these, 1,750 participants were selected, and then distributed among 208 teams. In 48 hours, the teams developed a total of 199 innovative solutions. If you would like to know more: Until May 22, 2020 teams of the first session will be pitching their ideas in the form of Pandemic Pitch Webinars.

The application deadline for "Beat the Pandemic II" is Tuesday, May 26.

Further information and online application


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