Klaipėda, Lithuania, invites to develop advanced solutions for modern ports of today and the future. On 20-22 September, the Portathon Baltic 2019 hackathon will bring together teams from business organisations, academic institutions, innovation developers and startups from Lithuania and abroad.
The event aims to rally specialists with various competences and technology enthusiasts – with the help of experienced mentors, they will generate ideas and prototypes that could be adapted in developing smart transport ecosystems and in the logistics sector through automation and digitalisation of port terminal facilities and various processes. The teams will have 48 hours to work on their solutions and present them to the jury.
Spotlight on the ‘blue breakthrough’
Organisers are already in the midst of intense preparations. According to the hosts, the event is relevant in several aspects. ‘In representing a city that develops maritime industry and has an ambitious ‘blue breakthrough’ strategy, we find opportunities to implement innovations at the port, thus ensuring even greater competitiveness, to be highly important. The theme of the hackathon will create an opportunity to take a very broad perspective of the transport sector, because a port is not just ships but also railways and road transport. The entire sector is being rapidly transformed by automation and digitalisation, which in turn bring both challenges and new opportunities. Of course, the greatest return will be enjoyed by those who will not simply watch these processes, but also be active developers and enablers of the new solutions,’ said Andrius Sutnikas, Development Manager at Klaipėda Science and Technology Park (KSTP).
The event, which will take place in Klaipėda for the first time, is organised by the KSTP, with the support of the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, Lithuanian LNG cluster companies, and partners from Poland – the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area organisation.
The hackathon will take place within the Smart-up BSR project framework. The purpose of this project is to help the countries in the Baltic Sea region to solve issues encountered during the implementation of regional scientific research and innovation policy, sharing the good practice of EU smart specialisation experts, as well as jointly developing concepts for the implementation of smart specialisation. One of the target areas of this project is the idea of a smart city.
The Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology has already included the Portathon Baltic 2019 hackathon into this year’s Innovation Week event calendar.
Prizes and valuable contacts
The format of the hackathon − a marathon of generating ideas and prototypes – has already been tested by IT experts at the KSTP. Last year, the Park organised the 48-hour Industry 4.0 hackathon, during which participants generated innovative solutions for use in the industry. Several foreign students had joined the event as well. Portathon Baltic 2019 will focus on internationality in particular, aiming to expand not only the geography but also the outlook of the participants, encouraging the search for valuable partnerships and providing better opportunities to test various ideas.
The teams offering the most interesting solutions will be awarded valuable prizes. ‘It is also important to note that the results of the hackathon will be instantly noticed by potential investors – companies operating at the port and in this region. The direction of the hackathon and the deliberately-chosen location for this event create the perfect environment for a good idea to become a tangible product or improved service, because, in addition to potential investors, we have and can use the strong scientific base of Klaipėda University,’ noted A. Sutnikas.
Teams can now register
Participation at the event is free of charge and registration has already begun. Companies are encouraged to delegate their representatives, individual startups, experts, engineering and IT students, can also form their own teams to reach a common goal.
At the Klaipėda Science and Technology Park, participants will be provided with everything they need to dive right into the challenges, for as long as it takes, without counting the hours – even all night long if necessary. If needed, teams will be able to complete some of their tasks at the Business Incubator’s 3D modelling base; there they will be provided with AutoCAD and SolidWorks software, as well as a 3D printer.