Irish innovators’ lead role in EU recovery hackathon

Irish innovators’ lead role in EU recovery hackathon
Participants in the #EUvsVirus Hackathon, which has resulted in 2,000 ideas to counter Covid-19 impacts.

More than 400 Irish innovators took part in the #EUvsVirus Hackathon, which has resulted in 2,000 potential ideas to counter Covid-19 impacts.

The suggestions covered: health and life (898), business continuity (381), remote working and education (270), social and political cohesion (452), digital finance (75) and other challenges (83).

The Irish participants included the Learnovate tech centre at TCD, and the Porter Shed entrepreneurial coworking space in Galway. They were among 20,900 participants from across the EU.

Winning ideas have also been awarded cash prizes by partners of the European Innovation Council, which led the hackathon. Participants are also availing of a range of opportunities within the EIC COVID Platform. The EIC is also to host a Matchathon matchmaking weekend between winners, partners and potential investors.

Winners were assessed according to impact potential (20%), scalability (20%), novelty/innovation (20%), prototype completion (20%), business plan (20%). The jury of experts across a range of disciplines included Irish engineer Colin Keogh.

Of 141 nations participating, Ireland ranked 13th highest with over 400 active participants throughout the course of the weekend and 6th highest in participants per million inhabitants.

Germany (389), Italy (320) and Spain (315) submitted the highest number of solutions, which range from a ‘modular micro factory’ to a ‘natural language processing system for medical reporting’. The event, which involved over 380 volunteers, 2,400 mentors and over 800 partners, brought together people of 141 different nationalities, as well as different areas of expertise and backgrounds.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “We have seen significant demand to date for EIC funding — over €10 billion in the last month— this demonstrates how important it is to support high-impact innovation during the coronavirus recovery period and beyond.”

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