IBM lends Bluemix to Nasa Space App Challenge

Big Blue is offering challenge participants free access to Bluemix, allowing them to draw on cloud development tools ranging from Watson Analytics to the Internet of Things.

IBM is offering up its cloud development platform Bluemix for the betterment of humanity. Well, sort of.

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This weekend marks the start of the NASA Space App Challenge, part of NASA's incubator innovation program.

The event is a three-day code-a-thon that brings together more than 10,000 developers, scientists, students, entrepreneurs and educators from around the world to develop mobile apps, software, hardware and data visualization platforms that address one of 35 challenges across outer space, Earth, humans or robotics.

As for IBM's part, Big Blue is offering challenge participants free access to Bluemix, allowing them to draw on cloud development tools ranging from Watson Analytics to the Internet of Things in order to compose, test and deploy their apps more rapidly.

For example, participants building apps in the robotics category could use IBM's IoT service to build an app for the "sensor yourself" challenge; coupling it with analytics services via Bluemix to analyze and make sense of sensor data for a potential robot simulator.

"The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is at the forefront of innovation, providing real-world examples of how technology can be used to by the best and brightest developers in the world to solve some of the most daunting challenges facing our civilization," said Sandy Carter, GM of IBM's Cloud Ecosystem and Developers.

The collaboration is the latest initiative by IBM to focus on accelerating cloud-based innovation. IBM has supported similar code-a-thons with enterprises such as Citigroup and higher education institutions like Howard University. IBM has also created a network of Bluemix Garages in San Francisco and London designed to promote developer ecosystem collaboration and innovation.

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