The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) held a Press Conference with the participation of a number of universities and local government entities, as well as the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. During the Press Conference, TRA announced the completion of the preparations for the launch of the UAE Hackathon under the theme “Data for Happiness”. The Hackathon will be launched in Abu Dhabi on February 4th, starting with a full training day including workshops on the concept of the Hackathon and the teams participation in data analysis and brainstorming to reach solutions within the eight posed challenges, which are: health, transportations, sustainable development, gender balance, environment, climate change, social relations and life style in the UAE.
H.E. Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, and Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, emphasized that the focus of the “UAE Hackathon – Data for Happiness” to engage members of society, students, institutions, innovators and those interested in developing solutions and ideas for the society’s life most relevant challenges in the sector, to achieve happiness and improve the quality of life in the UAE, reflects a deep understanding and awareness of the UAE’s leadership directives.
H.E. Al Roumi praised the TRA’s innovative initiative, which focuses on achieving the community’s happiness and improving the quality of life in the UAE, stressing that the challenges posed by the Hackathon relate to daily life, and use big data for achieving happiness, finding practical solutions to challenges, and enhancing opportunities, through focusing on sectors of transportation, health, development, future education, gender balance, as well as social relations and lifestyle in the UAE.
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, highlighted the importance of the Hackathon in supporting the country’s orientations towards the digital era, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and smart cities. Al Mansoori said: “The UAE Hackathon is not an occasion to give speeches, but a field where minds should race to the fullest, and the ideas should interact in youth spirit filled with warmth. It is a competition where concern is mixed with satisfaction through the participants’ contribution to shaping the desired future of our beloved country, in line with our wise leadership’s directives.”
H.E. Al Mansoori thanked the universities participating in the Hackathon, saying: “We are delighted to partner in this event with the Academic sector, represented by the universities present here, which have not hesitated to provide all the needed support to the UAE Hackathon, including offering their facilities and premises to host hundreds of participants. I would like to thank all of our national universities as their participation in the UAE Hackathon is a proof of their deep understanding of the phase characteristics, as well as their harmony with their scientific and human message.”
The number of registered competitors in the Hackathon has reached about 1900 persons, including competitors, observers, volunteers and advisors. The number is expected to increase, especially in the Northern Emirates Hackathons, as the Hackathon moves in the second week from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. In the third week, the Hackathon reaches Sharjah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain, while in the fourth week it reaches Zayed University in Dubai, where the closing ceremony will be held on March 4th, coinciding with the global celebration of the International Open Data Day.