A prototype of an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that can help conserve water has won the Dubai leg of Accenture’s global connected hackathon.
Team “OASIS” developed Hardware to Optimise (H2O), a system of sensors that analyses consumers’ water consumption on a daily basis and helps them conserve water. The project then went on to win the EMEA leg of the hackathon beating teams from London, Istanbul and Rome before losing to sides from Chicago and Singapore in the global challenge.
The event, organised by Accenture with the support of Expo 2020 Dubai, challenged participants to develop innovative digital solutions that improve urban living conditions, support more inclusive populations, and promote sustainable urban practices. It took place simultaneously in Dubai and ten other cities across four continents on November 11 and 12.
Xavi Anglada, managing director and Accenture Digital lead in the Middle East and Turkey, said: “We are proud to drive innovative potential and ideas with initiatives like the Accenture Digital Hackathon. I’d like to thank the participants for all the creativity and ingenuity they’ve demonstrated in what have been a really exciting 24 hours.”
Close to 500 recent graduates, undergraduates, entrepreneurs and individuals from start-ups in 100 teams participated in the hackathon across 11 cities (Bangalore, Chicago, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Manila, Mexico City, Monterrey, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore). In Dubai, the event had 42 participants in nine teams.
An additional two teams were awarded in the Dubai challenge of the hackathon: ranked second was team Algorythm which developed Health ME, which aims to provide peer-to-peer, community-driven medical insurance. Team Impact 7 ranked third presenting Feed Us, a platform that connects large food producers with organizations that can put otherwise discarded food to use.
The global winner of the hackathon was team “Wombat” from Singapore. It designed Dragonfly, an early warning system to detect and prevent outbreaks of Dengue Fever and other vector-borne diseases. Ranked second across all participating cities was team “Apostle” from Chicago, which created a brain-to-speech Artificial Intelligence companion.
Expo 2020 Dubai’s Expo Live judges also shortlisted the solution from Singapore for the opportunity to be presented to the next round of the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme for a chance to receive a grant worth up to USD 100,000, as well as business development support and exposure.
A panel of jurors ranked the solutions based on their innovative potential, quality and completeness of the prototype, usability and functional scope as well as how the teams presented them to the jury. Jurors included experiences digital professionals from Accenture, Expo 2020 Dubai, local sponsors and academia.
Yousuf Caires, vice president of Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The innovative ideas and solutions that came out of this Hackathon were exceptional and we are proud to work with Accenture, our Digital Services Premier Partner to provide platforms like this to enable and encourage creative local minds. More importantly, we are eager to welcome the winning team to pitch its solution at the next round of the Innovation Impact Grant Programme, for a chance to win our support and potentially showcase the solution to millions of visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai.
He added: “Expo Live views innovation as the relentless commitment to solving problems that impact communities and the progress of humanity. Dubai, as an innovation hub, welcomes innovators from all around the globe to develop solutions that will improve our lives for the long-term.”
Etisalat was a sponsor of the event. The telco’s senior director, Business Strategy & Open Innovation, Abeer Nijmeh, said: “This hackathon is an excellent example of how valued start-ups are in the UAE. In line with the vision of our nation’s leadership, we look to give them every chance to succeed because we know that they are behind most of today’s innovative and impactful ideas. In coming years, our economies and our lives will be shaped by these ideas and we are proud to support the Accenture Digital Hackathon, which provides an exceptional collaborative and empowering platform.”