Inspiring ocean projects developed at Copernicus hackathon weekend
From 22–24 November, 10 teams from across Europe and beyond participated in the Copernicus “OceanHack challenge” in Tallinn, Estonia.
The event received many applications and 10 teams made it to the final cut. The participants were challenged with either creating new solutions or to add ocean-smart features to existing solutions addressing problems affecting the Baltic Sea region, and were encouraged to use Copernicus marine data where possible. The judges were looking for innovative ideas that could improve the daily lives of people living within the region, and were expecting projects that might educate society or provide users with tools to better understand the oceans.
The teams did not disappoint and worked tirelessly the whole weekend on developing a prototype to present at a final pitching session on Sunday evening. The regular checkpoints allowed mentors to ask questions to the team leads and see what might still be missing from the ideas put forward, enabling them to go away and work on their projects further using the advice given. You could clearly see the progression at each stage as they took the advice on board, so that their final pitch was ready for Sunday.
Each team had just three minutes to convince the judges why their solution was the best before a winner was decided.
There was a real variety of prototypes delivered to the crowd - some further along in development than others - but all very interesting ideas and inspiring to watch. The winning teams and prizes were announced as follows:
- OceanHack winner: IceWise
A tool that will provide users with information on the extent and thickness of ice based upon Sentinel-1 data, so that people can travel over sea ice safely;
- Runners up: 8 bytes
Aiming to make Copernicus ocean climate data available to everybody by creating a web-based, information mapping tool and providing teaching resources;
- Runners up: Flask
Their app will present beach conditions, e.g. water temperature, across the Baltic region in a simple, interactive way. Users can also send virtual messages in a bottle using ocean current data and clean up beach plastic via a credit system with local businesses. There was also the possibility to report on the state of beaches via video/text.
The local organisers, Garage48, made sure everything ran smoothly and the fantastic cooperation with CMEMS, the Estonian Environment Agency and the Department of Marine Systems at TalTech University made the weekend a real success.
We’d like to say a massive congratulations to all of the participants - you worked incredibly hard this weekend and we really enjoyed hearing your fantastic ideas - we wish you the best of luck in the future, and hope to hear more from each project!
We’d also like to thank all of our partners and the organisers, Garage48 - it was a really fun weekend and a pleasure to be a part of!