SCDF x IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021

Singapore’s civil defence has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a fire department. Today, the SCDF isn’t just responsible for putting out fires across the country; they have upgraded their facilities and technologies to save lives in all sorts of emergency situations. 

But it’s crucial to keep up with the times and constantly innovate and adapt to emergencies, which is why the SCDF, IBM, and Accenture are coming together for the Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 to crowdsource innovative ideas from the community. Keep reading to find out how you can participate in this hackathon and win up to $10,000!

Find solutions to improve Singapore’s emergency response


From preparing themselves to cope with future pandemics and assisting other nations with search and rescue operations, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has a multitude of threats to respond to on a daily basis beyond house fires and saving precious cats from trees. And as we enter a renaissance in tech, our civil defence has to keep up with the times to discover and respond to these time-sensitive emergencies.

Sometimes these discoveries come easier when you have hundreds – or even thousands – of people with different perspectives putting their heads together, and this is what the SCDF x IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2021 is all about.

scdf innovation challenge
Note: Image was taken prior to Covid-19
Image credit: SCDF

Back in its fourth edition, the innovation challenge is a call to the community to pitch to SCDF their innovative ideas on how Singapore can stay ready for emergencies of any type. It’s not only about how firefighters can get from their truck to the hydrant quicker. The solutions can also be on the backend where emergencies are prevented from happening in the first place.

Some of the winners from past years include a team from Nanyang Technological University who envisaged using the IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) platform alongside smart sockets and smoke sensors to detect surges in power outlets to prevent electrical fires.

Note: Image was taken prior to Covid-19
Image credit: IBM

To stay on the ball with the current problems raging in our world, this year’s three problem statements focus on:

  1. Leveraging technology to enhance the capabilities and resilience of the SCDF in a post-Covid world
  2. Using environmentally-friendly technology for the SCDF
  3. Predicting and preparing for extreme weather events and natural disasters with technology

For example, you could use IBM’s machine learning tools to predict erratic changes in Singapore’s weather, or even leverage their blockchain platform to create digital identities.

How to participate in this hackathon

scdf innovation challengeNote: Image was taken prior to Covid-19
Image credit: IBM

Every team participating in the SCDF x IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 will consist of five members, including a – but not strictly subject to – team leader, coder, designer, engineer, and researcher. If you can’t gather a group of five, you might be paired up with other participants in this challenge.

Also, this is open to all university undergraduates, junior college, and polytechnic students. Students in their final year are also welcome to form a team and participate in the hackathon. You can even buddy up with friends from different schools and years to form a team as well!

Teams are required to submit a one-minute-long video pitch and an optional code sequence to GitHub addressing one of the three problem statements. The top five teams with the most creative and analytical solution will move on to the grand finals held on 25th June 2021 and pitch their ideas to judges from the SCDF, IBM, and Accenture.

You can sign up for the Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 here.

Win up to $10,000 in cash prizes and up to US$120,000 in IBM Cloud credits

scdf innovation challengeImage credit: SCDF

What competition lets you walk away without an oversized cheque? 

All five teams who qualify for the grand finals of the Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge will walk away with attractive prizes including a cash prize of up to $10,000 for first place. Each team will also receive US$120,000 of IBM Cloud credits to further develop their projects after the hackathon.

The IBM Cloud is a set of cloud computing services that lets anyone access IBM’s cornucopia of technologies from anywhere in the world for their applications. This includes IBM Watson, the artificial intelligence that won the game show Jeopardy!, their blockchain platform, and automation workflows.

With the IBM Cloud credits, the teams can go on to scale their projects across IBM’s global network, and who knows – a small hackathon might lead to your team turning into a homegrown startup enterprise!

Code to advance Singapore’s readiness for emergencies

scdf innovation challengeImage adapted from: SCDF

The SCDF x IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2021 is the perfect opportunity to find a solution to improve Singapore’s emergency response infrastructure, especially for students who have yet to enlist for national service.

While some experience with coding will definitely give you a headstart, the SCDF has plenty of resources for those newer to the scene from tutorials on cloud computing to open datasets from our Department of Statistics and

You also don’t need to fret should you not be familiar with how the SCDF works. Participants will get to attend virtual webinars featuring speakers and experts from the SCDF, IBM, and Accenture on topics like leveraging digitisation to solve problems and various ways to innovate to create a business idea.

If you’re just keen on following the progress of these budding and innovative whizzes, you can check out the grand finals of the hackathon that will be live streamed from the Marina Bay Sands Convention Hall on 25th June 2021. You can even vote for your favourite ideas and win gift packs!

Sign up for the SCDF x IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge


This post was brought to you by the SCDF.
Cover image adapted from (L-R): Jair Smits, SCDF