Filipino Startup Recognized in Global Sustainable Development Goals Awards


In 2019, Filipino startup Cirrolytix Research Services (CRS) took home a prestigious award from the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Challenge. The award was for Best Use of Data for the startup’s Project AEDES, which aims to improve public health response against dengue in the Philippines by predicting dengue cases from climate and digital data and pinpointing possible hotspots from satellite data. 

In August 2020, Team Cirrolytix won yet again at a special COVID-19 edition of the Space Apps Challenge, this time for Project GIDEON (Global Impact Detection from Emitted Light, Onset of COVID-19, and Nitrogen Dioxide). The project used Earth observation, in-country economic data, human mobility data, and global infection case count to integrate public policy information and measure the impact of COVID-19.

As if that wasn’t enough, CRS has once again made Filipinos proud with another citation for Project AEDES, this time at the 2020 Group on Earth Observations Sustainable Development Goals (GEO SDG) Awards for the Sectoral category, For-Profit. The GEO SDG Awards recognize “the productivity, ingenuity, proficiency, novelty, and exemplary communications of results and experiences in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development.”

2020 GEO SDG Awardees worldwide, together with Dominic Vincent Doc Ligot, co-founder and chief technology officer of CirroLytix 

Photo by GEO SDG.

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 participating organizations that envisions a future where decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations

AEDES, which stands for Advanced Early Dengue Prediction and Exploration Service, is one of CirroLytix’s flagship projects, developed for the NASA Space Apps Challenge last year. The project combines “digital, climate, and remote sensing to nowcast dengue trends and detect mosquito habitats to help pre-empt cases of dengue.” According to the startup, Project AEDES uss satellite data to estimate still water areas on the ground, which is correlated with dengue case counts from national health centers.

The latest recognition underscores Cirrolytix’s efforts to utilize Earth observation data to predict dengue fever cases in the Philippines and, in effect, improve public health. 

According to Cirrolytix, the Project AEDES framework is continuously updated with socio-economic risk mapping to turn it into a health and environmental policy tool. Aside from dengue, the company also supports COVID-19 modeling and response initiatives with the public health sector. CirroLytix’s current involvements include public health, human rights, fighting disinformation, education and food security.

"I am glad that the GEO SDG Awards Panel has selected CirroLytix for an award, recognizing the importance of this work in developing an EO-integrated dengue case predictor mapping system," said Dr. Argyro Kavvada, lead for Sustainable Development Goals of the Earth Science Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate and executive secretary of the international Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG). 

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“These awards really could stand as an inspiration to all of us about what can be done, and what needs to be done to ensure that Earth-observations contribute to make our world a better, and more sustainable place," said Lawrence Friedl director of the Applied Sciences Program of the Earth Science Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate and co-chair of EO4SDG.


CRS was formed to create social impact through big data. Co-founded by Dominic Ligot, the local data analytics firm hopes to help governments, researchers, non-government organizations (NGO), and social enterprises achieve positive change. through the application of machine learning, data engineering, remote sensing, and social listening.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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