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Start-ups to help scale up COVID-19 vaccine distribution; a grand challenge launched

Start-ups to help scale up COVID-19 vaccine distribution; a grand challenge launched

The challenge invites participation from innovative startups and emerging technology specialists to augment and scale the CoWIN platform. CoWin is a digitalised platform that will be used to effectively roll out and scale up the mechanism for COVID Vaccine Distribution System nationally

The challenge will be launched on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal The challenge will be launched on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal

For strengthening the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) system, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the launch of a Grand Challenge. The challenge invites participation from innovative startups and emerging technology specialists to augment and scale the CoWIN platform. CoWin is a digitalised platform that will be used to effectively roll out and scale up the mechanism for COVID Vaccine Distribution System nationally. And this challenge will try to broadly address the priority areas identified by MoHFW including infrastructure, monitoring and management, vaccine logistics management, among others.

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

The challenge will be launched on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal, a collaborative platform developed under the aegis of MeitY towards building meaningful synergies in the Indian tech startup space. MoHFW has identified seven focus areas of technology development to holistically address the likely limitations associated with complete and effective vaccine distribution system (VDS) and its seamless administration across India. These challenges try to broadly address the priority areas relating to infrastructure, monitoring and management, dynamic learning and information systems, constraints of human resources-including technical capacities, vaccine logistics management and tracking enlisted beneficiaries for any adverse event following immunisation on real-time basis.

The registration process has started and one can do that on the following website: https://meitystartuphub.in, The applications are invited until January 15, 2021. The top five applicants will be provided the CoWIN APIs (Application Programming Interface) to prove the efficacy of their solutions for possible integration with the platform. The press statement says that each shortlisted applicant at this stage stands a chance to win Rs 2 lakh covering their logistical requirements. The solutions once integrated with the platform through open APIs will be assessed for robustness and scalability. The top two contestants from the challenge will be rewarded with Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, respectively post successful migrations of the developed solutions on the cloud on which the CoWIN is hosted, apart from their integration with CoWIN.

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