3,2,1 Start Hacking!

12 March 2019 - Published by Renske Stumpel
30 hours, 10 teams, 80 (international) hackers, lots of energy and various inspiring powerboosts to develop innovative solutions to international societal challenges. On the 9th and 10th of March, Emmen (NL) was the place to be for innovation, LoRaWAN and IoT during the International Internet of Things Hackathon. Teams worked two days on various challenges from across the North Sea Region to win the award for ‘Best Design’, ‘Best Commercial’, or ‘Best Overall’.

A hackathon is an event where creative people develop and produce a creative new innovative solution to societal problems. These problems were provided by the Like! partners and can be divided in four tracks: safety, sustainability, mobility and health. Every team was working on its individual challenge and after 30 hours, a jury decided on the most innovative ideas. This jury consisted of Heinrich Wörtche (professor at the Hanze University of Applied Science), Rob Goossens (CEO at Technologies Added Emmen), Andre Harmens (business developer at the Noordelijke Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij), Aad Oosterhof (owner and consultant at Van Kessel & Oosterhof) and the teams themselves.


Full side programme provided

Besides hacking and developing, What the Hackathon (organizer of the event) did a tremendous job in providing all the necessary equipment and support. The teams could master their knowledge about the various technologies, have workshops on pitching their product and do challenges to learn to cooperate as a team. Together with ‘Ik ben Drents ondernemer’, the province of Drenthe, the Like! project showed how innovation and Internet of Things could be used in local pilots, but which can be connected transnational.

Winners and their tracks

The winner of ‘Best Design’ was won by team Toolbox who solved the challenge from Roeselare (BE) where traffic jams were caused by parents dropping off their kids at school. The team developed a system which detected a car entering the neighborhood of the school and alarmed the class of the kids who needs to be picked up. In that way, the waiting time in front of the school was lowered and traffic jams were less likely to occur. The ‘Best Commercial’ award went to team GICT of the Groningen municipality who designed a Smart Bin. In Angus (UK), the county council is struggling with encouraging citizens to recycle. GICT therefore developed a motorized trashbin with four compartments provided with weight and temperature sensors. The Smart Bin saves space, saves costs and collects data on the amount and sort of trash. Last, the ‘Best Overall’ award was obtained by the Indian/Singapore team who came up and developed a smart water bottle. This bottle can be used by professional cyclist during cycling-competitions to prevent these bottles to be thrown away and causing litter. The bottle and the bike both are provided with trackers. The system recognizes when the bottle has ‘left the bike’ and has been thrown away. Fans can use an app to locate the bottles, collect them and hand them in, in exchange for a gift. Litter will be decreased by the use of sensors, IoT and gamification.


After the hackathon…

After these intense 30 hours, we are looking back at a very successful event full of innovation and creative solutions for local problems, transferred to a transnational context! This event showed how much fun finding innovative solutions for transnational problems can be! During the Like! project, we aim to further develop these solutions and applications using data from IoT sensors.