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Developers used IBM watsonx to address sustainability issues and help fight climate change in the 2023 Call for Code Global Challenge.

In all my years working in technology, I’d have to say today’s excitement and innovation around AI is incredible to be part of. I’m inspired to see the growing role of developers in helping to create and bring solutions to market that take advantage of technology like AI to mitigate society’s problems. With this in mind, the 2023 Call for Code Global Challenge asked developers to use AI to address sustainability issues and help fight climate change, and developers around the world from universities and businesses have answered the call.

Today, we are excited to announce the 2023 Call for Code Global Challenge finalist teams and spotlight the amazing judges who will be selecting the grand prize University, Developer, and ISV category winners in December. It’s thrilling to see their innovative solutions, many of which use the IBM AI and data platform, IBM watsonx.

Call for Code Global Challenge University Finalists

BlueReef Foundation, a team from the University of Michigan, built a machine learning platform using IBM Watson Studio to measure coral reef health. The solution takes and shares dashboard views to monitor and protect reefs more efficiently.

A team of students from Heriot-Watt University Dubai called Team Inspiration created PestDetect, an AI-powered mobile app, that can help identify pests in grain storage using IBM Watson Machine Learning and IBM watsonx Assistant and recommend sustainable management techniques.

Phyto, a group of students from The University of Sydney, used the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite to build an AI-powered geospatial and weather analytics tool that can help farmers rehabilitate contaminated soil naturally.

Traffic AI was built by a team of University of Michigan students and uses IBM Watson Studio to simulate traffic flow to provide insights into the most efficient road configurations.

Call for Code Global Challenge Developer and ISV/Startup Finalists

AGNO, built by a team of Hexaware Technologies employees, created the FARMISTAR platform built with and IBM watsonx Assistant. The team aims to help small farmers stay up to date with weather forecasts and AI-driven crop management strategies.

Based in the UK, Battery Spotter uses IBM Watson Machine Learning and computer vision to help alert recycling facility workers to the presence of improperly discarded batteries to help reduce pollution and fires.

The FlavourFinder mobile app, built by a team of Morgan Stanley employees, can help consumers make better use of the food they have purchased before it spoils. Users can upload a photo of the food in their refrigerator and the app, which includes an IBM watsonx Assistant chat function, provides recipes based on available ingredients.

RAG&AI helps thrift stores create a digital inventory by photographing gently-used clothing. Using and IBM large language models, the solution can help make inventory more easily searchable and sortable through keywords tags, getting clothing out of landfills.

Team STEM built a mobile app called Shara with a virtual assistant to provide communities with a way to incentivize proper waste sorting and encourage homeowners to redeem reward points. The app includes a chat function powered by IBM watsonx Assistant and shares guidelines on sustainable best practices.

Synergy Squad, a team from Persistent, built Offshelf, an IBM Watson Speech to Text-enabled solution to help households reduce food waste. Through the platform, people will receive push notifications before a product expires to notify them that a food item needs to be used by a specific date.

Built by a Morgan Stanley team, the Without app helps people set challenges and earn points by going “without” certain activities to conserve water, energy, and other resources. provides users with education to help them understand the impact of these lifestyle changes and categorizes challenges that would most interest them.

We want to send a huge thank you to our incredible panel of eminent judges, a group of IBM Ecosystem partners and clients, listed below.

Eminent Judges

  • Joe Verrengia, Global Director, Purpose & Brand Storytelling, Arrow Electronics
  • Aamer Charania, President, Dallas AI
  • Christopher Atkinson, VP Product Development & Mgmnt Customer Service & Care To Payment, enGen
  • Imani Majied, Education Professional & Co-Founder, Everybody Eats
  • Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions
  • Melissa Evers, Vice President – Software and Advanced Technology Group, General Manager of Strategy to Execution, Intel
  • Susan Conley Salice, Chief Executive Officer, Magis Philanthropy
  • Corentin Thomasset, Cyber Data Risk & Resilience, Morgan Stanley   
  • Ruohan Liu, Director, Digital and Data Products, PepsiCo
  • Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder and Chairman, Persistent Systems
  • KC Choi, Corporate EVP and GM – Global Mobile B2B/B2G Team, Samsung Electronics
  • Scott McCrory, Enterprise Architect – Chief Development Office, The Huntington National Bank
  • Wes Turner, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Tori Kaplan, Chief ESG and CSR Officer, Truist

Head to Call for Code to learn how you can get involved today!