Hackathon aims to solve real-world challenges

This weekend it’s time for the 2016 East Sweden Hack. Equipped with open data and creativity, 20 teams will take part, with the aim of solving important challenges facing society.

East Sweden hack 2015Photo credit: Magnus JohanssonThis year, 20 teams will compete in four categories: integration; civil environment and transportations; healthcare and medical care; and energy and sustainability. It’s about everything from apps that help nurses keep track of large numbers of patients to bicycle rentals, intelligent ways of saving energy and much more.

“New this year is that our communication is in English. When we started, four years ago, there were just ten local teams competing. Today we’ve got 20 teams from all over the world, one from Guangzhou in China, one from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and lots of exchange students. It’s really cool,” says Anna Broeders, recruitment officer for the 2016 East Sweden Hack.

The challenge is to propose a solution to a societal problem, related to the Internet of Things and to one of the sources of open data that are available at the hackathon – data from Spotify, SenionLab (indoor positioning), Actia (remote control), Tekniska Verken, Linköping Municipality, Region Östergötland and the Swedish Transport Agency.

The hackathon starts on Friday evening and the participating teams have 48 hours to develop a functioning product or service. On Sunday evening the jury will decide which teams have done the best jobs. Four prizes – SEK 20,000 each – will be awarded, one in each category. Of these four teams, the one with the best solution will win a trip to CES in Las Vegas.

On Saturday the hackathon will be open to visitors, and there will be seminars and a reception with the teams.

”Everyone’s welcome, just turn up and be inspired. You don’t need to register,” says Anna Broeders.

On Saturday there will also be a mini-hackathon for younger participants, aged between 7 and 17. Registration is required for this event.

The fourth annual East Sweden Hack will be held at CreActive, in Mjärdevi Science Park. It runs this weekend, from 2 to 4 September. The seminars start at 10 on Saturday morning.

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