The World Bank Group is pleased to announce the TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge, in partnership with Government of India’s National Disaster Management Authority and CES, to identify and deploy disruptive technologies to help governments and communities in India better prepare, respond and build resilience to disasters and climate change amidst COVID-19.
COVID-19 has brought upon dual shocks to the communities in India, especially the most vulnerable with the recent Cyclones Amphan and Nisarga, and the upcoming monsoon season. Frontline workers and disaster agencies are already battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak has overwhelmed frontline workers and existing disaster management resources.
To deal with the twin challenges of immediate disaster response in the time of COVID-19 and building longer term disaster and climate resilience, the TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge is inviting applications for solutions using emerging or disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT, Drones, 3D printing, digital platforms and more. The Challenge has two tracks:
(1) COVID-19 FAST TRACK: Disaster Management during COVID-19 Pandemic
The need for adaptation and innovation is urgent to support India’s national, state and district Disaster Management Authorities (DMAs) in preparing for, and responding to monsoons and cyclones while also conforming to the precautionary measures required to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
We are looking for disruptive technology solutions that are scalable, well-tested and ready to immediately deploy in the following areas:
APPLICATION DEADLINE: JUNE 19, 2020 BY 11:59 PM EDT (Washington, DC time)
As one of the world’s fastest growing economy, India has projected a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure in the next five years, and aspires to build this in a smart and resilient manner. However, India is also highly vulnerable to natural hazards especially earthquakes, floods, drought, cyclones and landslides. Natural disaster losses equate to up to 2% of India’s Gross Domestic Product and up to 12% of Central government revenue. In the last 20 years India has suffered major losses in terms of infrastructure, particularly electrical infrastructure, housing, public buildings, transport infrastructure, including airports and railway stations, port and harbour areas to natural hazards.
With rising global temperatures, the combination of extreme weather events and sea level rise threaten the basic infrastructure, lives and livelihood. As the world’s fastest growing economy, India has projected a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure in the next five years, and aspires to add more smart and resilient cities and bring more people out of extreme poverty. The country has made remarkable progress in preparing for disasters and saving lives, with a proactive approach in implementing disaster preparedness and risk reduction initiatives. Now governments are also looking at building greater resilience of its communities and infrastructure to extreme events through use of emerging technologies for resilience, preparedness and response – e.g. artificial intelligence using predicative analytics for early warning, to quick damage assessments by drones, to enabling affected communities to communicate needs, to enabling block chain to ensure that aid reaches the people for whom it is intended. The use of emerging technologies can revolutionize the way disaster managers and decision makers acquire, analyze and act on hydrometeorological hazards and impacts of climate change.
The World Bank Group (WBG) is launching a global challenge for tech innovators from around the world that are interested in bringing their solutions to the emerging Indian market, in order to address the regions challenges related to reducing climate and disaster risk, and build the resilience of states and communities that are vulnerable to such risks. This global challenge aims to catalyze the adoption of innovative and disruptive technologies, in order to leapfrog government’s efforts across disaster risk identification, risk reduction, disaster preparedness, response, recovery and overall resilience building.
Selected innovators will receive support and grant funding from the TechEmerge-World Bank team to pilot their tech innovations in the Indian market alongside interested government partners, with the ultimate goal of wider commercial deployment of the technology to deliver sustainable impact. Through consultations with interested government partners, the following preliminary thematic key challenges have been identified for tech solutions. These will be further refined for the Open-call announcement in February.
Indian disaster risk management agencies are looking to adopt new technologies and innovative solutions to build greater preparedness, response and resilience of communities in a cost-efficient manner.
The World Bank Group-CES Resilience challenge presents a unique opportunity and scale for innovators to pilot and deploy their solutions to the above challenges to save lives, livelihood, infrastructure and economies from the impacts of disasters and climate risks.