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Innovation Challenge: Tracking Coronavirus (New York Academy of Sciences)

Deadline: 19 June 2020

NYASCoronavirus research has been slow despite severe outbreaks of SARS-CoV (SARS, 2003) and MERS-CoV (MERS, 2012). The 2019 SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has been more widespread with positive cases in 6 continents and over 150,000 deaths - orders of magnitude higher than SARS and MERS combined. Scientists and researchers in various sectors are racing to develop treatments and a vaccine while also investigating fundamental questions about the virus such as the seasonality, full range of symptoms, true fatality rate, viral latency, dose response curve of the viral load, long-term immunity, mutation rate, etc.

The combination of transmission rate (Ro), case fatality rate and asymptomatic transmission has provided preliminary understanding of the spread. However, the variance of these relative values due to factors such as population density and underlying comorbidities has made it difficult to predict the next hot spots with accuracy. The lack of Syndromic Surveillance for Coronaviruses has grossly exposed the global and local preparedness for pandemics making us vulnerable as well as putting extreme stress on our government, healthcare facilities, medical supply demands and economies.

Participants of the Innovation Challenge: Tracking Coronavirus by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) will be asked to design a syndromic surveillance network to better understand the current pandemic and/or prevent future Coronavirus outbreaks.

Resources as well as open datasets will be provided to guide you through your solution design process. Solutions can be presented in the form of a PowerPoint presentation or a written summary and will need to be accompanied by a one page executive summary.

This six (6) week innovation challenge is open to individuals 18 years of age (as of 8 May 2020 12:01 AM ET) or over from all countries except those subject to U.S. sanctions. The Challenge is a great capacity-building opportunity, especially for students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral degrees. Participants can work independently or form teams of up to 6 individuals. For team registration, please identify a team lead to complete the online registration and pay the team registration fee (USD 20 for NYAS members / USD 50 for non NYAS members). Team leads will be asked to identify the names and emails of team members during the registration process (if applicable).

Once you've completed your team registration, team members will be invited to join Launchpad, an online collaboration platform where teams can connect with experts and work together to prepare their solutions. Additionally, participants will have access to a series of curated resources and expert AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions.

The challenge begins 8 May 2020, when the official challenge statement is released. To participate and have access to the challenge question, you must first register your team!

Solutions are due by 19 June 2020, 11:59 PM ET (22:59 Colombian time)

After a first round evaluation, ten (10) finalists will be selected to present their solutions during a virtual "Pitch Day" to the judging panel on 16 or 17 July 2020. This event will be open to the Academy member network, including hiring managers from select corporate partners. One winning team will be selected and awarded a grand prize of USD 5,000.

Further information: website of the challenge; COVID19Challenge@nyas.org

[Boletín SIUN 487, 21 de mayo de 2020]

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