The UAE Hackathon, a national initiative by TRA, will be launched on 4 February 2018 at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the first station of the Hackathon. About 200 contestants will participate in the event, competing in the analysis of national data systems to come up with ideas and applications that contribute to achieving happiness of society, in line with the slogan of the Hackathon “Data for Happiness”.
The Hackathon concept is based on establishing small teams of 3-5 persons, representing all categories and segments of society, such as employees, university students, high school students, entrepreneurs, IT professionals and others, to develop solutions and ideas in the identified areas of the Hackathon, using big data provided by many government entities in the country. The UAE Hackathon poses several challenges, including transportation, traffic congestion, health, education, sustainable development, and gender balance, which are among the governmental work priorities in the UAE to achieve customer happiness.
In this context, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, said: “Khalifa University is one of the leading national university in spreading the culture of future and preparing the UAE generations to deal with the latest technologies and information. Cooperation and coordination with scientific hubs in the country, including Khalifa University of Science and Technology is a model of combining scientific research with community service. Together, we will work through Abu Dhabi Hackathon to create a collective competitive environment to deal with and analyze big data to reach practical solutions for local challenges. This cooperation is in line with the wise leadership directives, which attaches the utmost importance to coordinated teamwork and partnership between various sectors, as well as using science and knowledge to serve the enhancement of a digital life style, and to keep pace with Artificial Intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
H.E. Al Mansoori added: “Organizing this Hackthon is within the continuous support that TRA provides to the national competent youth, through creating opportunities for developing and refining their skills to suit the future needs of the labor market, which is undergoing major changes in terms of qualifications and capabilities. At the end of the Hackathon, we will thoroughly evaluate all the produced solutions and attract the qualified people to work in related fields.”
Moreover, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Director and Acting Executive Vice President of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “We are pleased and honored to have Khalifa University as the first station for the UAE Hackathon. This indicates the University’s leadership in areas of technology research in the UAE, as well as its leading position in the higher education sector as a main supporter for achieving the country’s ambitions and strategic plans based on providing the highest levels of education for the UAE young generation.”
Dr. Al Hammadi added: “Competitions of this kind are important platforms to stimulate innovation and prepare our students, by creating a challenging and constructive environment for achieving the highest levels of excellence. This is what we strive to achieve in order to reach the highest levels of leadership and innovation in education, especially in the areas of cyber security, which is among the important areas of support to the major technological development witnessed in the country, as well as enhancing the UAE’s global leading position in this field.”
Following the online registration through TRA website, applicants will be contacted to coordinate with them regarding the Hackathon location, selection and distribution of the teams, and the date of participation. The decision process is conducted by a panel of experts in this field. The panel will evaluate and discuss the submitted ideas of the participating teams, make a final decision, and announce the results. On the other hand, the participants will be introduced to the required criteria a week before the start of the Hackathon. These criteria include data utilization efficiency, product adoption and sponsorship probability, product marketing strategy, and sustainable marketing plan for the product or idea reached by the participating team.
All participants will receive one-day training course as well as a participation certificate from TRA. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 3 March 2018 in Abu Dhabi. The winners – six teams- will be honored in each emirate by publishing their winning solutions and applications on the UAE Government official Portal, along with a video showing the winning works. The winners at the national level will receive valuable prizes.