Posted: 3 years ago

Georgian Project Selected as Finalist in the NASA Space Apps Challenge

One of the winning teams from NASA Space Apps Covid-19 Challenge Georgia hit the finals of the top 40 of more than 1,300 projects. This is the first case when the team from Georgia is in the top 40 in the world.

For the third year in a row, Georgia has been actively involved in the annual NASA Space Apps Challenge, organized by the Tbilisi Startup Bureau and partners. In addition to the annual competition, this year saw the launch of the NASA Space Apps Covid-19 Challenge, a project directly focused on the pandemic, traditionally hosted by the Tbilisi Startup Bureau, Ilia State University, and the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency.

Due to the world situation, the global hackathon - NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge - was held online on May 29-31 of this year in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants created virtual teams from around the world and developed solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic based on Earth observation data.

The challenges concerned everything from the study of COVID-19-causing coronavirus and its spread to the consequences that the disease has brought to the Earth system.

One of the winning teams of the Georgian hackathon named NOtoNO2 achieved great success at the global championship. NOtoNO2, whose study aims to determine the share of harmful effects of air pollution in the lethality of the COVID19 pandemic, is in the final of NASA's competition.

Their research has already proven that mortality is closely correlated with long-term damage to the respiratory epithelium caused by free radicals in air polluted by the population. The study identified two ways to increase the population's resistance to infection:

1. Reduce air pollution in general and relocate populations vulnerable to infection in areas with fresh air;

2. Recommend to the population that they take in excess of foods rich in antioxidants neutralizing free radicals.

According to the study, only social factors (food ration, air pollution) increase mortality in some populations by up to 16.5%, while in some populations they decrease by 0.5%. Adherence to our recommendations will enable Covid 19 mortality to fall from the world average of -5% to 1.5% today.

As research continues, team members continue to work on the internationalization of research and global validity.

''The award for the winners of the Global Hackathon includes a visit to present the winning projects at NASA and provides an opportunity to collaborate with NASA, "- said in a statement.