The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) held a special workshop to introduce the UAE Hackathon 2020, in its Dubai office, in the presence of coordinators from the federal entities, and a number of local entities such as the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai (RTA) and Department Of Town Planning and Survey Sharjah. The workshop aimed to introduce the UAE Hackathon 2020 initiative, the developments of the hackathon for this year, and the initiative’s support to “2020: Towards the next 50”.
On the third edition of the Hackathon, H.E. Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director General for Information & e-Government Sector, said: “Today, the UAE Hackathon 2020 Journey begins, which is a continuation of the Hackathon achievements in its two previous editions, where we managed to attract 434 teams from different emirates of the country, motivated them to present the best ideas and creative projects, selected the best of those projects and supported them through business incubators, to achieve success and contribute to the visions of the UAE. Today we open the door again to more creative youth, to present their bright ideas, and we will work with them to develop and improve these ideas, making them successful projects that support the country’s strategies in the areas of artificial intelligence and Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
H.E. Al Housani highlighted that the UAE Hackathon 2020 will support this year’s theme: “2020: Towards the next 50”. He said: “Our wise leadership announced the year of 2020 as the year of preparation for the next fifty, and as part of our efforts to support this great national vision that extends over fifty years, we decided to focus in this year challenges on this theme. This year, we will be searching for innovative young people that present unprecedented ideas and visions, not for the next few years only but for decades to come. At the UAE Hackathon 2020, we are looking for projects that establish for a long period of achievements and successes, and have the sustainability element.”
The workshop included comprehensive information about the UAE Hackathon 2020 journey and its most important events and activities. Participants were acquainted with the methodology of formulating the UAE Hackathon 2020 challenges and their relation to the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing. They were also acquainted with the entities’ rating methodology according to their participation and contributions in the Hackathon.
During the workshop, TRA announced the registration opening for the new edition of the UAE Hackathon: “Data for Happiness and Wellbeing”, which will be held during the UAE Innovation Month, February 2020, in all seven emirates of the country. TRA published the registration link on the hackathon website (https://hackathon.ae), calling on those who wish to participate in the innovation competition to quickly reserve their places in the hackathon according to the emirate in which they reside or wish to participate in.
The second edition of the hackathon has witnessed active participation of a number of business incubators aiming to explore the possibility of adopting ideas and proposed solutions and transforming them into pilot projects. Moreover, several government entities who participated in the hackathon confirmed their intention to implement ideas that suite the nature of their work and contribute to achieving their goals. The previous Hackathon witnessed a variation in the participants’ age groups, such as teams of government employees and university students participated, and the surprising participation of a team of school students in Fujairah Hackathon. The percentage of females reached 54% of the participants while the percentage of males reached 46%. The number of data systems available for analysis increased from 500 in the first edition, to about 1000 data systems in the second edition of the hackathon.
The UAE Hackathon is an innovation event organized by TRA, launched first in February 2018. The UAE Hackathon aims to bring together university students, high schools students, employees, entrepreneurs, and IT professionals to develop innovative solutions and ideas for the challenges posed in the hackathon, using available data sets. Three winning teams are identified in each emirate, and a closing ceremony is held in March to honor the winners. Hackathons are held in the seven emirates of the country, a hackathon in each emirate.