The EC and Estonia’s Garage48 to organise a health challenge hackathon


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The European Commission, together with the Estonian startup organisation, Garage48, and Civitta, a consulting firm, are organising a pan-European hackathon to look for innovative smart health solutions and support Europe’s recovery from the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The hackathon, dubbed “Data 4 Healthy Recovery”, is to take place from 18-20 June, and  individuals and pre-formed teams can apply to participate until 15 April.

The applications are open to individual and team sign-ups from visionaries, developers, designers, data scientists, marketing specialists, engineers, entrepreneurs and industry experts interested in the project. Participants from across Europe and countries participating in the Commission’s COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) programme are eligible to apply. The event will take place in hybrid form – in Brussels and online – Garage48 said in a statement.

“The hackathon is a great way to find innovative and practical solutions to address the COVID crisis that could support the social and economic recovery. At the same time, the hackathon can help to boost the competitiveness of small and bigger businesses in Europe and modernise the value chains that will serve our societies,” Maive Rute, the deputy director-general of the directorate-general for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission, said in a statement.

Maive Rute, the deputy director-general of the directorate-general for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission. Photo by Arno Mikkor.

To help European companies and create new business opportunities

The hackathon was first announced during the EU Industry Days that serve as a platform for discussions on how industrial transformation and post-COVID recovery both offer the chance to rethink economic and social models through innovative solutions and tools.

“The organisers hope the hackathon with an emphasis on smart health solutions can help European companies and organisations reshape their business models, products and processes and, at the same time, also create new business opportunities,” Garage48 said.

The hackathon organising team is in the process of mapping out the most relevant and pressing challenges for the European industry in the field of smart health and fine-tuning them, together with industry experts. The organisers hope to get the best data sets available so that the hackathon participants can submit the solutions that match those.

Garage48 is a series of international start-up events for turning ideas into working prototypes in 48 hours. Civitta is an independent consulting firm in emerging Europe. The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.

Cover: The coronavirus rapid test (left), developed by the University of Tartu and SelfDiagnostics; the test allows identifying the infection within 45 minutes. The photo is illustrative. Photo by the University of Tartu.

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