CoronaSurveys receives honorable mention in Pandemic Response Challenge

The project, led by researcher Antonio Fernández Anta (IMDEA Networks Institute), is in the top ten of the challenge launched by XPrize in partnership with Cognizant

10 March 2021

CoronaSurveys, led by Antonio Fernández Anta, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks and project promoter since March 2020, has received an honorable mention, being top 10 in the $500K XPRIZE Pandemic Response Challenge. It is among the eight finalist teams that will get $3,000 in AWS credits for cloud and compute services, courtesy of AWS, a supporting partner of the Challenge.

The project is a collaborative endeavour from several universities and research institutions, with data about COVID-19 cases collected via anonymous open surveys. The results present estimations on the incidence and evolution of COVID-19 (and for vaccinated persons or for those unwilling to be vaccinated) obtained from this data, using the Network Scale-up Method.

XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, in partnership with Cognizant, one of the world’s leading technology and professional services companies, announced on March 9th the Grand Prize Winners. The first place has been for VALENCIA IA4COVID19 (Valencia, Spain) team, coordinated by Dr. Nuria Oliver, Commissioner of the Presidency of the Generalitat Valenciana, and J. Alberto Conejero, Director of the Applied Mathematics Department at Universitat Politècnica de València.

In second place is JSI vs COVID (Ljubljana, Slovenia), coordinated by Mitja Lustrek, Head of the Ambient Intelligence Group at the Jozef Stefan Institute, whose team members were previous competitors in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. These top-performing teams were selected from among 48 finalists in 17 countries. Both teams will share equally the total prize purse of $500,000, however judges have chosen to distinguish team VALENCIA IA4COVID19 as first place due to their exemplary submissions. In total, over 100 teams throughout the world initially joined the competition.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of the Pandemic Response Challenge, and are extremely grateful to Cognizant for their support during this competition,” said Amir Banifatemi, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer of XPRIZE. “This month marks a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak globally, and since then we have sought out various ways in which XPRIZE can help to identify and accelerate possible solutions for COVID-19 as well as strategies to keep people safe while mitigating for a back to normal world. Our hope now is to implement the methodology and technology identified via this challenge into emergency response plans for local governments worldwide, utilizing artificial intelligence to better protect everyone – from the most vulnerable in our society to the most essential workers – against future pandemics.”

About the challenge

The Pandemic Response Challenge aimed to harness the power of data and Artificial Intelligence in equipping policymakers, health officials, and business leaders with insights and guidance necessary to implement public safety measures and safely deliver the vaccine, maximizing their ability to keep local economies open while minimizing potential virus breakouts.