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“Detect and Protect Challenge” launched to rally the engineering community to fight COVID-19


The Avnet community has joined forces with the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) and other twelve technology companies to support the world’s developing countries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The “COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge” is calling on engineers all over the world to design low-cost and easily applied software, hardware and services to detect and prevent the COVID-19 virus in the world’s most vulnerable areas.

“Through this challenge, our engineering community is coming together to provide innovative solutions to get life-saving technology to some of the world’s most vulnerable areas,” said Bill Amelio, CEO, Avnet. “We are proud to partner with the UNDP to activate local technology ecosystems to develop, shape and implement open-source solutions that can help detect and protect against COVID-19 around the world. It’s truly a global collaboration, with a longer-term and positive multiplier effect.”

The challenge aims to realise ten economical and easy-to-produce hardware solutions to strengthen detection and prevention efforts in developing countries, minimising the strain on healthcare systems by helping to flatten the curve. Projects will be curated by Hackster and the UNDP, which will also work with each creator to deploy their projects to the frontlines where it is needed most.

“We’re turning to our network of developers and partners to share their ideas and designs with those who need them the most,” said Adam Benzion, co-founder,

Avnet will offer business consultations and access to engineering, design and manufacturing resources, whereas Hackster garnered support from partners including Amazon Web Services, Arduino, Arm, Edge Impulse, Google, Microsoft, Nordic Semiconductor, Nvidia, NXP, Soracom and The Things Industries, each of which will provide sponsorship, prizes and hardware and/or design support for the project submissions.

Entries will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis through the summer. The UNDP will select the top ten inventions, whose creators will receive monetary awards for their contribution to society and humankind. For more information go to

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