Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020)

Phase 1
30 November 2020

Registration process of the Drug Discovery Hackathon: Click Here

Guidelines on the Drug Discovery Virtual Tool Room: Click Here


Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020) platform welcomes all those who wish to join the open source drug discovery Hackathon against Covid-19. DDH2020 is a joint initiative of AICTE, CSIR and supported by Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India, NIC and MyGov. DDH2020 vision and mission is to establish ‘Open innovation Model’ for in silico drug discovery against Covid-19 virus and will cover the various processes in drug discovery, including but not limited to, in silico screening of molecules, lead optimization and identification of drug-able non-toxic targets. The targets/tools/lead molecules identified through the process of DDH2020 will be further taken forward for synthesis followed by subsequent steps in routine drug discovery program.

  • organizers
  • Principle scientific Adviser
  • MHRD innovation cell
  • logo
  • MHRD
  • partners
  • Partner logo
  • cdac
  • schrodinger
  • chemaxon
  • Mygov
  • Cresset
  • DassaultSystemesBIOVIA
  • optibrium
  • BioSolveIT

DDH2020 enables competing and subsequently sharing drug discovery, information, including but not limited to, ideas, articles, papers and other literary work, data, software, applications, notes, results of experiments, patented inventions, confidential information and other materials (hereafter referred to as Information) submitted by the users.

about drug

Given the complex nature of SARS-CoV-2 infections that are still being understood, collective intelligence must be applied to address this global pandemic, especially in identifying drugs against Covid-19. It is time that we utilize the strength of young bright minds across the world to identify solutions to address this global scourge. This will not only lead to the identification of potential SARS-CoV-2 drugs but in the process will lead to the generation of a large community of researchers with skills in data analysis and management in drug discovery.

students & faculty

Currently, India has more than 15 lakhs students & faculty in the field of computer sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and biotechnology spread across 3000+ colleges and universities. We also have a large number of scientists working in research organizations, industries, and startups in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence, drug discovery, in silico chemistry, and big data analytics which can contribute to this endeavor. This wide network of researchers will go a long way to address pandemic and outbreak situations across the world.

For DDH registration related issues, please e-mail at ddh[at]aicte-india[dot]org
For any registration & other issues related to CDAC Virtual Tool, please e-mail at ddtrsupport[at]cdac[dot]in


Identification of drug
Identification of drug candidates that are effective against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2- by employing a hackathon for in-silico drug discovery, followed up by chemical synthesis and biological testing.

It is well known that drug discovery is complex, long-drawn, and requires interdisciplinary teams to discover new molecules. In-silico approaches to drug discovery not only accelerate drug discovery but is also amenable to the hackathon. As a principle of Open Innovation, a complex task could be divided into SIMPLER assignments for community participation. Therefore, the Hackathon will start by launching specific challenges or Problem Statement or that may then be addressed by several teams across the globe. The outcomes of these teams may then be assessed by a clear definition of endpoints achieved or not. Teams arriving at endpoints for the first round of Hackathon will then be engaged in the next round with mentorship from experts in the field across the globe. These specific outcomes will then be progressed to the next level of endpoints and so on so forth till the time a lead molecule is identified that is ready for testing in several models in the experimental lab.

Hackathon Methodology

The hackathon will have two major tracks

Hackathon Methodology track-1


will primarily deal with drug design for anti-COVID-19 hit/lead molecule generation using tools such as molecular modeling, pharmacophore optimization, molecular docking, hit/lead optimization, etc.


will deal with designing/optimizing new tools and algorithms which will have an immense impact on expediting the process of in silico drug discovery. Novel or refined tools/algorithms from Track-2 will help develop better models for predicting ADMET in silico, thus improving screening efficiency.

Hackathon Methodology track-2

Track-1 and Track-2 will be further subdivided into very concrete multiple Problem statements (PSs) with the help of an expert panel.

Problem Statements:

PSs will be standalone challenges with well-defined boundary conditions and expected outcomes in terms of efficiency, specificity, computational power, etc. so that competing teams are well aware of the expectations and required outcomes.The proposed Hackathon will be conducted in 3 phases of 2 months each.

Evaluation norms for each phase will be designed to ensure that only the most promising and relevant candidates/concepts/products qualify for the next phase.

Eligibility Criteria

PSs will be standalone challenges with well-defined boundary conditions and expected outcomes in terms of efficiency, specificity, computational power, etc. so that competing teams are well aware of the expectations and required outcomes.The proposed Hackathon will be conducted in 3 phases of 2 months each.



The hackathon is an international initiative and all researchers/faculty across the world are eligible to participate.



All students studying in India and all Indian students (holding Indian Passport) studying abroad are eligible to participate in this competition.

The participation in Hackathon is free for all and will be done via a web-based portal. The individuals or teams participating in the Hackathons can select from several challenges that are already posted on the portal. This will allow a comprehensive list of specific issues that need to be addressed.


The teams responsible for hosting Challenges will offer initial datasets and clear objectives to avoid re-inventing the wheel by several team members. As of now several resources offer OPEN DATA that may be used in Hackathon Challenges that include datasets of chemical compounds, bioactivity, bioavailability, host-pathogen interaction maps, and several algorithms for prioritization of known approved compounds or discovery of new ones. These resources offer some ready-to-use datasets for several analytical methods. For high-end computational modeling, efforts will be made to provide free computing resources to participating teams. Even appropriate training sessions could be conducted.


Prizes will be given at every phase to the winning team



End Point and Rewards

The number of prizes and prize money will be separate for each phase. The amount of prize money will increase substantially from Phase-1 to Phase-2 to Phase-III. The potential SARS-CoV-2 'hit/lead' compounds identified may be tested in the lab and taken further for clinical development and by CSIR and other interested organizations.


The winning products/hits/tools from the hackathon will be submitted to CSIR for further laboratory testing and validation. Moreover, this entire exercise will help India establish an Open Innovation Platform for Drug Discovery using Hackathon methodology to combat Covid-19 and future epidemics.

General Guidelines and Terms & Conditions

1.1 DDH2020 is an international competition offered through its Portal to you, provided that you are of legal age to form a binding contract and are not a person barred from participating in DDH2020 by the laws of India or any other applicable jurisdiction. The use of this site constitutes your acceptance of these Terms, which take effect immediately on your agreeing to these Terms. DDH2020 acting through its Organizing Committee reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes on the DDH2020 Portal.

1.2 In order to access the Information and services available on DDH2020 Portal you are required to provide current and accurate details for contact as well as other information required as part of the registration process. You agree to provide accurate particulars on any online form(s) available on the Portal that you may be required to fill.

1.3 You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password. You are responsible for all the activities from your account.

1.4 You are responsible for regularly reviewing information posted online to keep abreast of any changes. DDH2020 does not accept any responsibility to keep you informed about any changes in the Portal or the Terms. Your continued use of the site after changes are posted on the Portal constitutes your acceptance of the Terms as modified.

2.1 You agree that you are responsible for any content that you create, transmit or display while using the Portal. You agree to use these services only for the purposes that are legal and proper, in accordance with the vision and purpose of DDH2020 and in accordance with the Terms and any applicable policies or guidelines.

2.2 You agree that you will not act or indulge in any activity that will disrupt the services of the Portal or services provided therein or the connected or related networks.

3.1 The Portal, its services, the content, Information, and results of collaborative research including, but not limited to, the identification of drug-able non-toxic targets, in silico screening of molecules, tools/algorithm developed for supporting drug discovery and lead optimization will constitute ‘Protected Collective Information’. You agree that the ownership of this ‘Protected Collective Information’ belongs solely to the DDH2020 and is the proprietary right of DDH2020 to use it for further development as per the decision of the organizing committee.

3.2 Any appropriation of the Protected Collective Information to acquire proprietary rights is violation of DDH2020 objectives and will be liable to legal action under the applicable laws.

3.3 DDH2020 being a multi-phase competition, participants are expected to strictly adherence to timelines and deadlines is expected. No exception will be considered.

3.4 As DDH2020 is a multi-phase competition, the parameters and process of evaluation of entries submitted by participants will be decided by the separate ‘Evaluation Committee’ chaired by an eminent expert. The decision of ‘Evaluation committee’ regarding ‘Results of DDH2020’ will be final and binding to all participants. No further representation will be entertained.

3.5 As participant, you agree that using DDH2020 Portal and in consideration thereof you agree that any Information submitted by you or generated using the Portal shall form a part of the Protected Collective Information to be shared and used by the DDH2020 Organizing Committee for furtherance of its objective. You authorize DDH2020 acting through its organizing committee to take any action in furtherance of the vision of DDH2020. Such actions taken by DDH2020 organizing committee will be informed to its members through the Portal.

3.6 You agree that Protected Collective Information is a valuable proprietary right of DDH2020 and DDH2020 has the right to work on submitted ideas/concepts/tools to take them forward for further development.

3.7 You assign to DDH2020 the wor ldwide royalty free non-exclusive license on any Information submitted by you to Protected Collective Information for the sole purpose of use of DDH2020 members for furthering the vision and mission and for that purpose only. It is understood that if your intellectual property rights are used for any purpose contrary to the Vision and Mission, this assignment shall stand unconditionally revoked.

3.8 In the event of your acquiring any intellectual property rights by making improvements or modifications on any part of the Protected Collective Information, you shall grant an unencumbered worldwide non-exclusive right to the DDH2020 for use of such rights for further research in furtherance of its Vision and Mission.

3.9 You agree that DDH2020 through AICTE &CSIR may license any research result generated out of DDH2020 for the sole purpose of furthering the Vision and Mission of DDH2020 provided that there shall be no direct monetary gain or other benefit for AICTE or CSIR out of such assignment.

4.1 You may access the Protected Collective Information released on approval Organizing committee for DDH2020 purpose only. You may contribute to Protected Collective Information and shall get credit for it, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

4.2 You may make improvements, additions and modifications on the Protected Collective Information, and use it commercially or non-commercially, provided that you contribute all such improvements, additions and modifications, back to it.

4.3 You may submit your patented inventions for the use of DDH2020. You may retain the rights over the patents except to the extent to be used in the open source drug discovery process and for selling any product or process arising out of the use of your invention in that process. By submitting your patented invention for DDH2020 you agree not to place any encumbrances on the product or process arising out of the use of your patented product or process for fulfilling the Vision and Mission of DDH2020. You agree that any use of your patented invention for the drug discovery process and any Information generated out of use of your patented invention while being used for drug discovery process on DDH2020 shall belong to Protected Collective Information.

4.4 You may use your patented invention or technology kept as trade secret to generate Information for DDH2020 without licensing or disclosing or in anyway parting with such invention or technology, but submit the Information so generated to DDH2020 to be a part of Protected Collective Information.

5.1 DDH2020 respects Intellectual Property Rights of others and expects the members not to infringe the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party contributing to the Protected Collective Information or while involving themselves in the drug discovery process. If any infringing material is posted on the Portal, it should be brought first on the discussion forum so that appropriate action can be taken. If infringing materials are posted online, the administrator will have the rights to take down or remove them without any notice.

5.2 The source code of all copyrighted software programs made available on this Portal should be open, in the sense that it is available and any software derived out of the software available on the Portal should also make the source code available.

5.3 You agree not to indulge in any attempts to destroy or deface the Portal including but not limited to knowingly introducing viruses and to bear the cost and consequence of any such action arising from your account.

5.4 You agree to indemnify DDH2020 and AICTE and CSIR India against all legal fees, damages and other expenses that may be incurred by a result of your breach of the Terms.

5.5 These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of India. Disputes arising here from shall be exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court of Delhi, India.

6.1 You agree to hold harmless and indemnify DDH2020 from and against any third party claim arising from or in any way related to your use of DDH2020, the Portal and/or services offered by it, violation of the Terms or any other actions connected with use of DDH2020 services, including any liability or expense arising from all claims, losses, damages (actual and consequential), suits, judgments, litigation costs and attorneys' fees, of every kind and nature.

6.2 You agree that you are solely responsible for all contents posted by you on the Portal and indemnify DDH2020 and AICTE & CSIR (India) from any third party claim relating to Intellectual Property or any other rights.

7.1 Your use of DDH2020 services is at your sole risk. DDH2020 services are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis. To the maximum extent permitted by law, DDH2020 expressly disclaim all warranties and conditions of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

7.2 This Portal has been designed in good faith for DDH2020 team, but no representation is made or warranty given [either express or implied] as the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein. DDH2020 do not warrant that (i) DDH2020 services will meet your requirements, (ii) DDH2020 services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free, (iii) the results that may be obtained from the use of DDH2020 services will be accurate or reliable, (iv) the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you through DDH2020 services will meet your expectations, and (v) any errors in the software will be corrected.

7.3 Any material downloaded or otherwise obtained through the use of DDH2020 services is done at your own discretion and risk and that you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or other device or loss of data that results from the download of any such material.

7.4 By accessing this site you agree that DDH2020 or AICTE/CSIR will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss arising from the use of the Protected Collective Information or other material contained in the Portal. The Protected Collective Information available in this Portal belongs to and remains solely with DDH2020.

7.5 No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from DDH2020 or through or from DDH2020 services shall create any warranty not expressly stated in the terms.

8.Limitations of Liability You expressly understand and agree that DDH2020 and AICTE/CSIR (India) shall not be liable to you for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if DDH2020 have been advised of the possibility of such damages) resulting from: (i) the use or the inability to use DDH2020 services; (ii) the cost of procurement of substitute goods and services resulting from any goods, data, information or services purchased or obtained or messages received or transactions entered into through or from DDH2020 services; (iii) unauthorized access to or alteration of your transmissions or data; (iv) statements or conduct of any third party on DDH2020 services; or (v) any other matter relating to DDH2020 services.

9. No Third Party Beneficiaries You agree that, except as otherwise expressly provided in the Terms, there shall be no third party beneficiaries to the Terms.

10. Notice You agree that DDH2020 may provide you with notices, including those regarding changes to the Terms, by email, regular mail, or postings on DDH2020 services.

11. General Information Entire Agreement: The Terms (including any policies, guidelines or amendments that may be presented to your from time to time such as Program Policies and Legal Notices) constitute the entire agreement between you and DDH2020 and govern your use of DDH2020 services, superceding any prior agreements between you and DDH2020 for the use of DDH2020 services.

12. Waiver and Severability of Terms The failure of DDH2020 to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of the Terms is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Terms remain in full force and effect.

13. Statute of Limitations: You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of DDH2020 services or the Terms must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.