Latvians help the world hack the coronavirus

The world's largest online hackathon took place between 9 and 12 April, with the help of organizers from the Baltic states, including Latvia.

A total of nearly 12,000 people participated from 100 countries worldwide, according to organizers, with "The Global Hack" participants formed into 507 teams to develop innovative ideas that could potentially mitigate the current crisis caused by a coronavirus.

The online event was co-organized by Latvian creative forces, which, with the support of Swedbank, lead the Economy and Environment tracks of the hackathon. 

In total, 1,032 ideas were offered to solve the challenges in the economy, health care, environment, and other industries. During the 48 hours, participants had to make 3 checkpoints during which mentors assessed project progress and identified potential problems of the ideas. All the checkpoints were successfully overcome by 507 teams from which 110  most successful ideas were selected to be presented at the semifinals, while only 30 continued to the final. More than 800 participants took part in the Economy and environment tracks under Latvian oversight.

After three stages of evaluation, an international jury selected the top three ideas from all tracks which, in fierce competition, showed the best result: the 1st place and €15,000 prize was awarded to the Suncrafter team from the Environment track.

"The team won with a disinfection station which provides a holistic solution for a hygiene method as a global standard. By providing easy, affordable and barrier-free access to hand disinfection, the station helps reduce the spread of viruses like coronavirus. Such extensive coverage is accomplished by coupling UV lamps with upcycled solar generators, allowing it to be a sustainable solution that can be carried to exactly where it's needed," said organizers.

Second place, as well as the €10 000 prize, went to the team Act on Crisis from the Mental Health track of the hackathon, which developed an online platform that offers high-quality psychological support services that are designed to meet the cultural characteristics of the individuals.

Third place and a €15,000 prize (yes, more than second place) for the future development of the project was awarded to the Material Mapper team from the Environment track. The team developed an AI market research tool to validate the problem statement - a survey and thorough in-person meetings with all major property developers, municipalities, demolishing, recycling and construction companies in Norway. The team succeeded under the leadership of Ieva Sibilla Strupule. 

The closing ceremony of The Global Hack can be watched here: ej.uz/TheGlobalHackFinal

More information and all the teams: theglobalhack.com

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