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The World Bank, in partnership with CES and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), is pleased to announce the winners of the TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge.

Ten innovators from across the world, chosen from over 300 entrants, will be piloting their cutting-edge technology solutions across India, to deal with the twin challenges of immediate disaster response in the time of COVID-19, and building long term disaster and climate resilience. The innovators will partner with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to implement the solutions.

The top five innovators from among the 10 winners will get to showcase their solutions at the CES2021, the world’s largest consumer technology event, to be held in Las Vegas, in January, 2021. The announcement to feature the most disruptive innovators of the TechEmerge Resilience India challenge at CES2021, was made last year by the CTA.

With support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the innovators also have access to a grant fund pool of US$1 million to pilot their solutions. 

IBM will provide cloud credits and technical assistance. They will also receive technical and advisory support from the World Bank.

The chosen tech innovators and entrepreneurs offer solutions that leverage disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT, drones, 3D printing, digital platforms, and more.  These solutions have stood out from among hundreds of others from across the world in a six-month long process that involved rigorous evaluation by subject matter experts and independent jurors on specific criteria vis-à-vis the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), who are the end users. The criteria include demonstrated technology, ability to execute, fit to needs, and innovation, to name a few. 






India has long suffered from severe natural disasters, particularly cyclones and monsoonal flooding. Now, COVID-19 has placed added strain on the country’s ability to respond to these life-threatening events.

To deal with these twin challenges, and to build long term disaster and climate resilience, TechEmerge launched its Resilience India Challenge, focusing on emerging or disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT, drones, 3D printing, digital platforms, and more. The challenge has two tracks: Resilience and Disaster Management During COVID-19.

Track 1: Resilience

Although India has made remarkable progress in proactive disaster preparedness and risk reduction, the country is seeking to further strengthen the resilience of its communities and infrastructure to extreme events. Through consultations with government partners, five thematic key challenges were identified.


Track 2: Disaster Management During Pandemics:

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for disaster innovation to support India's national, state, and district Disaster Management Authorities (DMAs) in preparing for, and responding to, disasters while also conforming to the measures required to limit the spread of the coronavirus. TechEmerge will support disruptive technology solutions that are scalable, well-tested, and ready to immediately deploy in the following areas:



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Nelen & Schuurmans' Flood Forecasting System will develop a flood early warning system that is useful for both immediate calamity management and long-term planning, through two software solutions that can be run through cloud-based computing from any laptop/tablet.  The interactive interface allows one to visualize how water flows during the actual simulation, and also interact with it. With the AI based simulation, the user can let it rain, generate storms or break levees, adapt elevation or change the interception of an area. An example here.    Learn more
Seismic AI's End to End Managed Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) covers all aspects of designing, deploying, maintaining, monitoring and improving the performance of the network.  The core of SeismicAI’s EEWS is a unique real-time seismic algorithm that uses Array Seismology to locate the epicenter (back-azimuth), and several unique non-empirical algorithms to estimate the magnitude and expected ground shaking at any location. The algorithm is driven by a state-of-the-art real-time, distributed computing environment that reduces the number of stations / nodes drastically, and supports real-time seismic processing even in the harsh settings where the stations are often located.   Learn more
Project OWL's Post Disaster Internet Connectivity provides wireless devices basic connectivity for messaging and information. Project OWL developed an innovative unified network infrastructure of hardware, firmware, and software to create a seamless plug-and-play solution. The DuckLink is a wireless device that provides basic connectivity for messaging and information.  DuckLinks may be deployed in networked clusters to form the ClusterDuck Network in the air, on the ground, on the water, or underground. The open-source nature of Project OWL's technology makes it an effective solution to distribute code and knowledge to affected communities without requiring on-the-ground manufacturing and teams for deployment. Learn more
ideaForge manufactures fully customizable, high capacity drones that can be deployed for defense, homeland security and enterprise solutions. ideaForge's drones will aid the chosen SDMA in; disaster preparedness through surveillance, survey and mapping, disaster response and relief by acting as first responder to provide on-ground situational awareness, and disaster recovery by conducting post-disaster damage assessment.   Learn more