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IBM Code Global Challenge 2021 for Computer Programmers World Wide ($200,000 Prize)

Date: May 23, 2021

Deadline July 31st 2021

The world is facing unprecedented challenges that are interconnected in some ways. The good news, however, is that technology can help address these issues, whether it is through the deployment of existing solutions or new innovations.

Now in its fourth year, IBM Code Global Challenge, the largest tech for the good initiative of its kind, is seeking developers and problem-solvers around the world willing to work in teams to build solutions that address specific global problems in unique, and applicable ways.

Launched by IBM, a leading multinational technology company, the Code Global Challenge, offers participants the opportunity to build and contribute to sustainable, open-source technology projects that address social and humanitarian issues, making a demonstrable impact in the most vulnerable communities.

Considering the far-reaching and devastating effects of climate change, this year’s global challenge is divided into three sub-themes:

  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Zero hunger
  • Responsible production and green consumption


All winners will receive an invitation to the Call for Code Global Award Announcement and support from the Linux Foundation.

Global Challenge

  • Grand prize winner – $200,000 USD

Runners up

First and second – $25,000 USD

Third and fourth – $10,000 USD

University Challenge

  • Grand prize – $10,000 USD
  • Each student team member will receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.

Regional Prizes

  • Grand prize – $5,000 USD (Dispersed equally across the team)


  • Submission must use one or more IBM Cloud services or IBM Systems. Use of sponsor or affiliate APIs and open source libraries is allowed.
  • Teams of up to five (5) participants with each being at least 18 years old
  • A participant may not be part of multiple teams.
  • Teams competing for the University Challenge must ensure that all team members are enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education.
  • All team members must have accepted the 2021 Participation Agreement at the time they submit their solution to be eligible.
  • Applications must be new and built for the 2021 competition, but they may use code that was open-sourced and publicly available to all other participants as of March 22, 2021.

Judging criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following four primary criteria, to test whether the solution solves a real-world problem and uses technology effectively.

  • Completeness and transferability: How fully has the idea been implemented? Can it achieve an impact in the field? Can it be transferred elsewhere?
  • Effectiveness and efficiency: Does the solution address a high-priority area? Does it achieve its goal effectively and efficiently? Is it scalable?
  • Design and usability: How good is the design, user experience, and ease of use of the solution? How quickly can it be put to use?
  • Creativity and innovation: How unique was the approach to solving a long-standing or previously intractable problem?

Click here to submit your solution.


Submissions close on Saturday, July 31, 2021. For further information, visit this page.

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