IBM and Singapore Civil Defence Force announce SCDF X IBM Lifesavers' Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 for sustainable solutions to tackle climate change

Accenture appointed innovation partner to boost design thinking and problem-solving capabilities for entrants

Singapore – 25 May 2021: With an urgency to build and contribute sustainable solutions to tackle climate change, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) together with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) as the innovation partner have announced the SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2021. This year’s challenge invites software developers to develop and deploy solutions to make a demonstrable difference in the communities with the greatest need — Singapore’s civil defence, community resilience and emergency response.

The impact of climate change is palpably felt in destructive ways, especially in the disaster-prone ASEAN region. There is a national mandate in Singapore to emphasise sustainable development to combat the onset of climate change. Software developers are invited to leverage emerging technologies (specifically "green tech") to enhance emergency response and public safety and make SCDF’s service delivery environmentally friendly by design. Participants are invited to take advantage of technology to better predict and prepare for the foreseeably higher frequency and greater severity of extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Held as a case competition, University undergraduates, Junior College and Polytechnic students can form teams of five to create solutions to tackle problem statements concerning the Nation’s emergency response. The top five winning teams stand a chance to win a cash pool of S$21,000 and up to US$120,000 IBM Cloud Credits. Experts would also mentor the five shortlisted student teams to improve their ideas before the Grand Finals. Participants must submit their entries by 11 June 2021 with the Grand Finals scheduled on 25 June 2021.

Participants can register for the event here

Last year, 370 teams comprising 1244 students from Junior Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities participated in "SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2020", a 48-hour virtual hackathon jointly organised by SCDF and IBM. A team of SMU students from the School of Information Systems clinched the top position and were awarded a cash prize of S$10,000 and an additional US$120,000 in IBM Cloud credits to implement their solution. The team’s solution utilises smart infrastructure such as sensors embedded within buildings to increase the efficiency and safety of emergency evacuation and rescue. The system can be deployed to any building as long as they have the infrastructure required, including WiFi, CCTV cameras and smoke/fire sensors.

“We recognise that skills and knowledge that have served us well in the past may not be as effective in the next 10 or 20 years, as technology is advancing rapidly and challenges will constantly evolve,” said Deputy Commissioner T eong How Hwa during his closing address for SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2020 last year. “Hence we need to tap on the technological expertise and creativity of those within and outside SCDF as much as possible. One of the ways is through this Innovation Challenge for we believe in engaging the public to co-create solutions with us.”

"Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and we must apply our collective ingenuity and cutting-edge technologies to make a lasting difference," said Martin Chee, General Manager for IBM ASEAN and Singapore. "The Singapore winning team will have an opportunity to participate in IBM’s Call For Code challenge and stand a chance to work with IBM to incubate and deploy their solution where it’s most needed. I want to encourage every developer and innovator in Singapore to seize this opportunity through the SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 to make a tangible difference with sustainable solutions to tackle climate change."

"This innovation challenge comes at a significant moment in time when consumers and businesses alike are more committed than ever to embracing sustainability in everything they do," said Ng Wee Wei, senior country managing director for Accenture Singapore. "Today’s students will become tomorrow’s leaders and play a critical role in meeting Singapore’s sustainability goals. We hope to equip these future leaders with design thinking and problem-solving skills to help drive the innovations needed for a more sustainable future for all."

In its fourth year, the Call for Code initiative has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations and has generated more than fifteen thousand applications. Call for Code aims to drive immediate and lasting humanitarian progress around the world through the creation of practical applications built on open source-powered software, including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, atmospheric data from IBM’s Weather Company, and developer resources and APIs from partners like Intuit and New Relic.

Call for Code with the Linux Foundation houses open source projects that have come out of prior year’s global challenge. Thus, additional mentorship will be provided to top teams looking to further develop and scale their solution; replicating the successes of notable projects such as ClusterDuck Protocol, DroneAid, OpenEEW and Rend-O-Matic. (Details in addendum - download link below )

Accenture’s involvement with the innovation challenge reinforces its ongoing focus on infusing sustainability across its business and reducing its own environmental impact, including: signing the UN Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5° Pledge, reducing its emissions in line with its science-based target, pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025, committing to use 100% renewable electricity by 2023 as part of the RE100, and setting industry-leading waste and water goals.

IBM’s multi-pronged advocacy for environmental sustainability dates back decades. Earlier this year, IBM announced it will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by prioritising reductions in its emissions, energy efficiency efforts, and increased clean energy use across the more than 175 countries where it operates. More recently, IBM Research announced progress in accelerating the discovery of new carbon capture, separation, and storage technologies.


About SCDF
For more information about SCDF & the challenge, kindly visit

About IBM
For more information about IBM, visit

About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centres. Our 537,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at

About Call for Code
Developers have revolutionised the way people live and interact with virtually everyone and everything. Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s why David Clark, the CEO of David Clark Cause, created Call for Code in 2018, and launched it alongside Founding Partner IBM and Charitable Partner UN Human Rights. Since then, Call for Code has scaled to include an annual University Challenge in addition to regional prizes and the creation of Call for Code for Racial Justice. This multi-year global initiative is a rallying cry to developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world through code. Call for Code Global Challenge winning solutions are further developed, incubated, and deployed as sustainable open source projects to ensure they can drive positive change. To learn more about past winners and their progress, visit IBM Developer.

Media contacts:

CPT Adam Osman
Information Operations Management
Corporate Communications Department
Singapore Civil Defence Force
DID: (65) 6848 1514

Selvi R
Communications Leader
IBM Singapore & ASEAN
+65 9795 4165

Yasmin Quek
SEA Media Relations Accenture

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