On 8 June, the final of the hackathon "InnoAir & Europeana: Sustainability and Social Justice" took place and the winners of the competition were announced. The event took place with the support of Europeana and under the InnoAir project, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.
The final was the culmination of a whole range of activities within the competition. Until 31 May, anyone interested could register their teams to take part, and on 2 and 5 June the mentor meetings took place, during which each team had the opportunity to present their ideas to the competition’s mentors and hear feedback on them, as well as ideas for improving them.
The jury of the hackathon included Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Head of the InnoAir Project, Dimitar Dilchev, Director of the Urban Mobility Center, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski” Prof. Dr. Todor Yalamov, Head of the International Cooperation at NAMRB Yana Docheva, Antonia Shalamanova from Green Sofia, Jolan Wuyts from Europeana and Velko Velkov from the Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development Department at Sofia Municipality.
Guests at the event were Romain Descroix from the French Cultural Institute in Sofia, Zornitsa Stoykova from the Portuguese Cultural Institute Camões, Nelly Dimova from the Hungarian Cultural Institute, Axel Bayer from the Goethe Institute and Elena Kirova from the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia.
Five teams with different ideas and prototypes were selected to take part in the final and present their ideas to the jury - Day Off, SparkBot, CY Power, SOFIA PASS and the team of "Pencho P. Slavejkov" school.
The Day Off team, who were the winners of the second InnoAir project hackathon, came to defend their title with their concept and prototype for a gaming app with an environmental focus.
Students from the School of Technology "Electronic Systems" at the Technical University - Sofia with team SparkBot presented their project "SPARKBOT - the little city helper " - a concept and prototype of a robotic device for cleaning the city bike lanes and signaling for problems in the real city environment.
Team SOFIA PASS, on the other hand, presented to the jury and the participants their idea of creating a electric bicycle service and so-called E-Hubs (places where people can use multiple forms of public transport where these bicycles can be provided) and what its business model would be.
Representatives from Team CY Power shared their idea for the "Power" dynamo batteries, which can be mounted on a bicycle and used to charge various devices, charging through the movement of the bicycle.
The students from the “Pencho P. Slaveykov" school presented the project "Eco-port", which includes the creation of an application that will help those using public transport in the capital in their daily commute with a variety of different data and gadgets.
After the presentation of all the projects, the jury of experts in green transformation, urban mobility and technology made their choice:
1st place went to team SparkBot with their project "SPARKBOT - the little city helper", who won 8 000 BGN.
2nd place and a financial prize of 5 000 BGN was awarded to CY Power with their prototype of a dynamo battery for bicycles.
3rd place and 3 000 BGN was awarded to the visionaries from SOFIA PASS with their bringing service using electric bicycles.
There were also special prizes for the team of the "Pencho P. Slavejkov" school from the Urban Mobility Center - free public transport cards for a whole year, as well as courses for learning different foreign languages from a number of cultural institutes in the capital for the Day Off team.
For this hackathon, the organisers introduced a whole new kind of approach to the participating teams by giving everyone access to useful datasets about the capital's public transport, the history of Sofia in terms of urban mobility and the commuting habits of the capital's citizens - data generated by the InnoAir project as well as provided by Europeana. Through this data, participants could tailor their projects to the specific needs of the city, which they could derive from real, up-to-date data on urban mobility, history and cultural identity of Sofia.
"We went through absolutely every database. In the database provided by Europeana, for example, we found an interesting motivational photo that served as a transition between the past and the present. We were also able to see statistics about people's attitudes about whether they would switch to an alternative method of getting around. We were also able to analyze the information about all the bike racks positioned on the territory of Sofia in blue and green zones, which allowed us to create a map on which all such racks can now be seen," said the SOFIA PASS team about the databases available during the race.
"Such competitions are a very good investment for us as students because they give us the opportunity to meet many new people, exchange ideas, get better and challenge ourselves." said the winners of the hackaton for SPARKBOT.
The hackathon "InnoAir & Europeana: Sustainability and Social Justice" was supported by Europeana and is under the auspices of the InnoAir project, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.