REVA University and Kyndryl launched Artificial Intelligence Hackathon to make rivers plastic-free, aligning with the UN’s sustainable development goals.

10-06-2023, Bangalore: In collaboration with Kyndryl, REVA University has launched a global AI Hackathon to detect plastic in water bodies. The challenge of the hackathon is to detect, classify, and segment the plastics in a river body from a set of drone images. The participants have to propose a viable and architecturally sound AI solution with actionable insights where the stakeholders, like the government and local support groups, can take preventive or proactive measures to clean up the rivers based on the density and movement of plastic. The solution must help curtail the plastic menace choking our water bodies. 

As per a UN SDG report in 2021, more than 17 million metric tons of plastic entered the world’s rivers and oceans, making up 85 per cent of marine litter. Marine species ingest or get entangled in plastic debris, which causes severe injuries and death. This plastic pollution today threatens food safety and quality, human health and accelerates climate change. There is an urgent need to explore new ways to address marine plastic pollution, and this hackathon will help in building technology-enabled sustainable solutions to achieve it. 

To develop a prototype, the top entries will be mentored by senior industry leaders from Kyndryl and RACE, REVA University. The top three best solutions will receive attractive prizes ranging from INR 3 lakhs to other prizes and swags.

Dr P. Shyama Raju, Honourable Chancellor of REVA University, while launching the hackathon, said, “Higher education institutions like ours have a significant role in educating the community on the effective achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations. We have dedicated the year 2023 towards aligning all our academic and other activities towards various SDGs. This hackathon, aligning towards SDG 14, “Life under Water”, is an excellent initiative to bring awareness amongst the AI community and the public about the plastic menace. Through this hackathon, I look forward to ingenious and plausible solutions from AI experts to reduce the plastic menace on our water bodies.”

Naveen Kamat, Vice President and CTO, Data and AI Services at Kyndryl India, said, “At Kyndryl, we have set ourselves an ambitious goal to achieve carbon net zero by 2040, thereby contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. ​We are proud to work with REVA University on this hackathon that aims to develop Vision AI-based solutions for plastic waste detection. The event will help to drive thought leadership and visibility for innovative prototypes that can contribute to help solve on-ground issues of local communities.” 

During the launch event, Harish Shenoy, Director of Plastic Fischer India, spoke about the work they have been doing to clean up the rivers. He said that the Plastic Fischer team is working in Varanasi, Kanpur, Trivandrum and Mangalore to stop plastics in the rivers to prevent them from leaking into the oceans. “To be able to scale this impact worldwide, we need tools to help us identify how to create more impact in the most efficient way. I believe the resources created from this Hackathon by Kyndryl and REVA University will help us in our collective fight against marine plastics,” he said.

Dr. J B Simha, Chief Mentor – AI, RACE, REVA University and CTO, ABIBA Systems, highlighted the need and know-how of building AI-based solutions to detect plastic in water bodies. He stated that the hackers need to try on a few techniques like automated annotations and spatiotemporal modelling with deep learning.

AI developers, architects, Data scientists, ML engineers, programmers, freelancers, students, etc., can participate in the hackathon. They must have experience with object detection models and frameworks, such as YOLO, TensorFlow Object Detection API, or OpenCV.

Check the link here to learn more about the Hackathon and participate. 

About REVA University

REVA University is a top-ranked private university in Bangalore, offering 100 plus undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in 10 plus faculty, including Engineering and Technology, Management, Science, Legal Studies, Architecture and more.  The University’s sprawling green campus, with state-of-the-art infrastructure, caters to the learning needs of 16000 plus students. To learn more about REVA University, please visit the website REVA Academy Corporate Excellence-RACE, an initiative of REVA University, hosts this hackathon. RACE offers a range of specialised, techno-functional programs in emerging technologies, custom-designed to suit the needs of working professionals to fast-track their careers. To know more about RACE programs, follow this link

About Kyndryl

Kyndryl (NYSE: KD) is the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, serving thousands of enterprise customers in over 60 countries. The company designs, builds, manages and modernises the complex, mission-critical information systems that the world depends on daily. For more information, visit

For more information: