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Hackathon “Portathon”: from a digital twin to solutions for using hair in drones

The international port technology hackathon “Portathon 2021”, which took place over the weekend in Klaipėda Science and Technology Park and remotely, gathered more than 100 participants in 9 other countries. At the end of the 48-hour solution generation marathon, 19 teams presented their ideas - and there was no shortage of unexpected solutions.

The main thematic categories of “Portathon 2021” this year were logistics, energy, sustainable environment and cyber security. Challenges to the Hackathon were presented by the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, the company “Bega”, which belongs to the Lithuanian maritime cluster community, the Lithuanian Armed Forces and partners of international projects.

Lithuanian triumph

“The largest transport routes and logistics routes meet in the port, different modes of transport and technologies interact here. Considering the complexity of such objects and the scale of the processes taking place in them, there is no doubt that there is a lot of space here for progressive ideas and a qualitative leap. Greater economic and ecological efficiency, which is becoming an increasingly important guide for ports, can be achieved only by implementing innovations and developing innovative solutions,” - emphasized Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications, who congratulated the Hackathon.

The commission that evaluated the solutions generated during “Portathon 2021”, which consisted of representatives from science and business organizations, institutions contributing to the development of innovations, as well as military officers, named the solutions submitted by 3 teams from Lithuania as the strongest. 

The gathered team of specialists of AB “Vakarų laivų gamykla” group of companies “WSY” was awarded for the solution of the application of a virtual twin yard created with the help of 3D scanning technology in the management of production processes. The latter would enable complex, large-scale projects to be carried out much more efficiently. The team estimated that adapting the solution to business could save around € 750 per day, however, alongside this aspect they emphasized the added value created for customers and the opportunity for businesses to thus strengthen their positions in a challenging competitive environment.


National motifs in ship interiors

Representatives of the Navy, which became the partners of the hackathon for the first time this year, were glad that the challenges presented by this organization were solved by as many as 6 teams. Two of them became winners of the contest.

The Lithuanian team “CyberUnit” was awarded for the technological solution of naval personnel skills and training planning.

Success also accompanied the team "VTDK Horizontas", where students and lecturers of Vilnius College of Technology and Design joined forces. As the Navy is planning the construction of new single-class warships, the development of the warship concept is currently underway, and future design specialists have not missed a unique opportunity to contribute to this process by offering Lithuanian warships an adapted interior solution.

Naval Forces currently use three different classes of warships, most of which were designed and built more than 30 years ago in Great Britain, Norway, and Denmark. In the vision of Vilnius College of Technology and Design students, the new Lithuanian ships are modern, providing more convenience, representing the country's national identity.

The students' presentation emphasized not only functionality, space-saving solutions that make it easy to transform it - also integrated visual elements, repeating traditional Lithuanian motifs, seen in ancient fabrics, carvings, etc. The integration of oak, amber elements and linen in the interior of the ships would also remind the soldiers of home. 


Waste - for the production of advanced material

A joint team of representatives from different countries “Sweep & Storm”, awarded in the Hackathon, provided highly unexpected insights into possible pollution monitoring and management in ports. The innovators not only offered a solution for smart autonomous aircraft, but also drew attention to the possibility of creating a unique material with extremely good absorbent properties from human or animal hair and nylon waste. According to the innovators, by integrating it into special drone containers, it would be possible to efficiently manage spills in the port.

The team noted that many of the pollution abatement measures currently in place are designed to combat large-scale ecological disasters, but for small spills, it would make sense to look for other innovative tools.

“Why hair? 1 kilogram of hair can absorb up to 8 liters of oil products. Hair is keratin with a non-yielding strength to steel. Currently, 90% of this type of waste goes to landfill, but it could be turned into something that would be beneficial and not have side effects on the environment. The innovative material would be extremely light, corrosion-resistant and cheaper than carbon fiber, so its application could cover more areas in ports" – The Sweep & Storm team named the advantages in their presentation.


Large group of experts

20 mentors - experts from different fields - from Lithuania and abroad helped the hackathon participants to strive for victories. The teams were consulted by representatives from Klaipeda Port, Naval Forces, Klaipeda University, Lithuanian Higher Maritime School, Lithuanian Innovation Center, digitization solution experts from “Schneider Electric Lithuania”, “Omega 365 Lithuania”, “cloudyBoss”, “Visinator”, “DP World's” “Cargoes” division, Blekinge University of Technology, “Ignitis Group”, “Open Circle Capital”, “Ontarget Ventures”.

This year, four international projects – “Secmar”, “Connect 2 Small Ports”, “Liquid Energy” and “Exoprodigi” - helped Klaipėda to carry the “Portathon” flag.


The winners of the Portathon, which has already managed to become the business card of technological events in Klaipėda, shared a prize fund of EUR 4 000, the main founder of which was Klaipėda Port.


Vilhelmo Berbomo g. 10, Klaipėda


Universiteto al. 19, Klaipėda


Pilies g. 8, Klaipėda


  Klaipėda science and technology park - Vilhelmo Berbomo srt. 10, LT-92221 Klaipėda

  Phone: +370 46 310461


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