Hack4Med – A hackathon to remember!

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From Friday the 16th of May, till Saturday the 17th, the Agro-Know team had the priviledge to be a part of the Hack4Med hackathon organized in the context of the HOMER project, in Heraklion, Crete! Agro-Know supported the hackathon, offering its expertise in the organization and facilitation of the event, as well as its experience from previous hackathons.

The event kicked off with a set of inspiring speeches from our invited speakers from various agencies and unions in the wider area of Crete. We listened carefully to their needs related to the use of open data in public administration, in tourism, agriculture, energy and the environment. From the speeches, all of us had the opportunity to get a feel for the existing situation of open data in Herakleion but also a feel for the actual needs that have to be addressed through the use of the data.

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As soon as the speeches were over, each speaker was assigned to a group of people and became an interviewee for our hackers that discussed with them for over fourty minutes. The groups, went from one question to the next, trying to narrow in the actual needs as well as the requirements of our speakers. Out of this discussion, the participants had the chance to accurately map the existing data and needs and through them, to identify ideas for hacks that could heavily impact one of the sectors that were mentioned before, always in reference to Crete and the Mediteranean as a whole.

Finishing the brainstorming session of the event, the ideas were there, the teams were formulated and there was nothing left but to get down to hacking our way through the night! The teams were assigned to their respective spaces and started working on their ideas with the support of our own technical team, as well as the team from the University of Crete. The night passed with pizzas, refreshments, snacks and lots and lots of coffee and the first light of the day found two teams still coding in the university building, since the other four or so, had left to get some sleep!

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The teams continued working untill 19.00 on Saturday afternoon, finalizing their hacks and preparing their presentations! We met again, joined by our hack committee of experts and our external guests to see what the teams prepared for us. The presentations were really interesting and very well documented by all teams, giving a hard time to the hack committee that decided for the winners. The hacks, along with the awards they were given follow:

1. Best Homer Federation Open Data reuse App
1st prize: Ithaca
2nd prize: Crete Guide Mobile App

2. The most useful application for a public sector administration
1st prize: EER
2nd prize: Ithaca

3. Best solution for Crete
1st prize: Ithaca
2nd prize: Why PAY

I think that I speak on behalf of all of us in AK, when I say that this was one hackathon we will surely remember. The commitment of all the teams, as well as the diligence and persistence they showed, was moving, inspiring and unprecedented for similar events! Thank you for the wonderful memories and we really hope that this small community of hackers that was formulated in Herakleion due to the Hack4Med hackathon, will continue to exist and participate in future events as well!

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