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Code and Response

Creating and deploying open source technologies to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges

Many of us on the IBM Developer team watched in sadness as fire devastated Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15. As the rebuilding effort begins, we want to find ways to not only assist in the Notre Dame restoration, but also improve the resiliency of the world's most iconic buildings and treasured monuments.

We've already seen the power that technology holds to make buildings more resilient to catastrophe and safer after a disaster. During last year's Call for Code Global Challenge, developers created several technology solutions that could make an impact in this way. One example is the open source runner-up solution, PD3R, which stands for Post-Disaster Rapid Response Retrofit. The solution was developed in Nepal and uses artificial intelligence to analyze whether a building is habitable following an earthquake. The goal is to help victims return to their homes more quickly and prioritize the repair of structures that are in most immediate danger.

What if we could inspire developers to create other open source solutions to help ensure that some of our most iconic buildings and monuments - like Notre Dame Cathedral - can be made more resilient to fire damage, flood, and natural disasters. At the same time, can we work to inspire projects that make these structures safer for people to enjoy for years to come?

We recognize many buildings around the world could benefit from these types of solutions. That's why in the coming weeks, we'll be calling on developers to build open source solutions as part of a global hackathon. We'll seek to inspire developers to answer the question: How can technology make our buildings more secure when faced with imminent threats, both man-made and natural, starting with Notre Dame?

Bob Lord, IBM Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems, shared the following statement about IBM’s commitment:

"IBMers around the world have been saddened by the news on Notre Dame and have expressed their desire to help. As a first step, IBM is pledging €1 million in cash, employee matching contributions, and promotion to aid in the recovery of the cathedral. As a part of IBM’s Code and Response deployment initiative to put open source technologies to use for social good, IBM will also work in partnership with the French government and local universities and organizations to mobilize developers and data scientists to participate in a global hackathon for Notre Dame in May. During “Code for Notre Dame,” subject-matter experts will work with students, academics, developers, and data scientists to create IT-driven solutions to aid in the recovery and rebuilding of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral."

As we work toward coalescing resources in this effort, we will provide updates on how developers, data scientists, academics, students, partners, and others can join this cause.

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