On the 26th of October the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) together with the Riga Technical University’s Design Factory hosted “Copernicus Hackathon and Climathon Riga 2018” to tackle Climate Change caused issues using satellite data. Two winning teams received an opportunity to continue developing their ideas in the Copernicus Accelerator Programme and Climate-KIC Greenhouse business incubator.
The 24-hour hackathon took place in more than 100 cities around the world, including Riga. In Riga, multidisciplinary teams were searching for satellite data based innovations for smart and climate friendly cities. Overall, 10 multidisciplinary teams worked with Climate Change challenges defined by five municipalities in Latvia - Cesis, Jelgava, Salacgriva, Valmiera and Liepaja, as well as defined by participants themselves.
The winning team with their idea “Forest Watch” offers to use Copernicus and other satellite data to control illegal tree cutting, thus helping natural absorption of CO2. For development of the idea, the team received 3500 EUR money prize, as well as an opportunity to participate in Copernicus Accelerator programme. The second winning team offered the “Duster” idea – prevention of air pollution using wind fence, thus helping to filter particles in air from coal transshipment terminal in Liepāja coastal area. The representatives of municipalities found developed ideas very practical and competitive, thus several teams received an offer to continue the cooperation after the hackathon.
Ideas were evaluated by professional, represented by RTU vice-rector for research Talis Juhna, director of the Climate department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ilze Pruse, senior expert in science and innovation of the Ministry of Education and Science Kaspars Karolis, representative of “Buildit Latvia Accelerator” Matiss Nimanis and co-founder of SIA “Alina” Solvita Kostjukova.
According to IES’s representative Guna Dātava: “The 21st century’s environmental problems, climate change effects and rapid development of technologies require new competencies, forms of collaboration and creation of innovation. 24-hour hackathon brings together various competencies – professionals from fields of urban planning, graphic design IT, project management, marketing, finances, etc., as well as solution seekers and problem solvers. It is a very effective tool that helps to find practical solutions in very short time-period.”
As RTU Design factory “Climate-KIC HUB Latvia” project manager Santa Krastina points out, “The number of the hackathon’s participants and highly interested municipalities show that climate change is a topical matter in Baltic region, moreover, there is a market demand for green technology-based solutions and Latvia has many professionals who are able to provide innovative solutions.”.
The Copernicus Hackathon and Climathon Riga 2018 was organized by IES and RTU Design factory as a part of the Copernicus Hackathon and Climate-KIC programme – international initiative that invites European citizens to explore data application fields and develop practical solutions for adapting to and mitigating Climate Change effects. Copernicus is an EU Program aimed at developing European information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data. IES is Copernicus Relay and Copernicus Academy network representative in Latvia.
Find out more about the Copernicus programme here.