MoHFW and MeitY launch CoWIN grand challenge to strengthen coronavirus vaccine intelligence network

The CoWIN grand challenge is now open for innovators to register for developing innovations to strengthen the vaccine intelligence network. Participants can register themselves between December 23, 2020 and January 15, 2021.
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The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) today announced its grand challenge, “CoWIN” as open. According to the official statement, the challenge is aimed at strengthening the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) system. 

According to the official statement, the CoWIN system is a digitalised platform which will be used to effectively roll out and scale up the mechanism for COVID-19 vaccine distribution system across the country.

“India‘s innovators have played a crucial role in our fight against COVID-19. I invite innovators and startups for the grand challenge to strengthen the CoWIN platform for roll out of COVID19 vaccination program across India,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement.

The winners of the challenge will receive rewards totalling to Rs 3.85 crore. The MoHFW has identified seven areas to focus on including - 1) High Adherence rate; 2) Portability across India; 3) Vaccine Transportation; 4) Queue management; 5) Report adverse event following immunisation and adverse event of special interest; 6) Learning Management System; and 7) Logistic Management Information System. 

The solutions need to address infrastructure issues, monitoring and management information systems, constraints of human resources, gaps in cold chain and vaccine logistics management, mass vaccination of citizens, and effective monitoring mechanism for the already vaccinated population for adverse effects.

Image credit: Daisy

What’s in it for the innovators?

According to the ministries, Indian tech startups, MSMEs, companies, and Limited Liability Partnerships(LLPs) registered in India under Companies Act can apply. In a bid to encourage participation from academia,  teams not registered as companies or startups or MSMEs etc can also participate in the challenge.

“However, the teams making it to the Stage-II, will be required to apply for registration as Indian Startups/ Company/ MSMEs/ LLPs. It will be expected that by the time of selection at the final stage, necessary registration has been completed,” the statement noted.

According to the statement, a jury consisting of IT and health experts will select the top 25 applicants from each focus area who will need to pitch their solutions before the jury. 

The top five applicants from each area will be selected and will receive the CoWIN APIs for implementing and showing the efficacy of solutions. Each of the shortlisted applicants will receive Rs 2 lakh each to cover their logistics need for this activity.

The jury will select two winners from each problem focus segment. According to the statement, the top two contestants from the first six areas will be rewarded with Rs 30 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively, and the top two winners in the logistic management information segment will be rewarded with Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.

If you are an innovator and believe you can help strengthen the CoWIIN system, then register for the grad challenge here from December 23, 2020 to January 15, 2021.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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