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The 1st Open Data Cyprus Crowdhackathon

The 1st Open Data Cyprus Crowdhackathon was held on the 10th and 11th of September 2016 with great success in Nicosia at the premises of IDEA. The competition attracted a total of 62 contestants who participated in the hackathon in teams, with the task to design and develop applications using open data made available through the National Open Data Portal and other public sector portals.

The competition was organized by the Public Administration and Personnel Department (PAPD) of the Ministry of Finance and the Presidency-Administrative Reform Unit, in collaboration with Deloitte. Deloitte assisted the government with the implementation of the Revised Directive 2013/37/EU, which focuses on the re-use of public sector information and its practical application through national legislation, and is included in the priorities of the Presidency of the Republic. The hackathon as the major final project activity, aimed to demonstrate the benefits of re-using public sector information and promote open innovation, following the standards of Crowdhackathon established by the technology company Crowdpolicy.

During the two-day hackathon and in less than 30 hours, developers, analysts, designers, students, researchers and professionals, managed to develop a total of 13 applications, retrieving different open data sets from the National Open Data Portal. The apps created aspire to improve public administration services (e.g. Cyprus Government Gazette), have a business interest in important sectors of the economy, such as tourism and services, while others have a social dimension and promote social solidarity.

In the framework of the hackathon, a side event entitled “Opendata tech 4 all” took place on Saturday, September 10th at 18:00. The workshop aimed to inform the public about the use of open data, shed light on innovative technologies (e.g. chatbots) and present existing good practices in the field of Open Data such as the Greek “Transparency Program initiative” and the ZenCity 2.0 platform founded in Israel.

In order to assist Hackathon’s contestants to develop their ideas, 20 mentors participated as “consultants”, with an active role to provide their feedback and support to the teams. In addition, 12 executives with experience and know-how in the business environment, the start-up ecosystem and technology were selected to form the Evaluation Committee. The competition came to an end with the selection of the three (3) best teams, which were awarded with cash prizes and services in kind, worth over 20 thousand euro. The first prize of the Hackathon went to the team “Big.O”, which created an app that improves the quality of open data available through the National Open Data Portal, making the life of other programmers easier! Second and third prizes were awarded to “Moufflon View” (created an app that applies Open data analytics for SMEs) and “Lex Latis” (created an app that improves the accessibility of the Cyprus Government Gazette) teams respectively.

The cash prizes were sponsored by Bank of Cyprus (BOC Hackathon Awards), while Deloitte, MTN, European University Cyprus, Computrain, eSafe and, offered prizes in kind or services. Other sponsors of the event were Ancoria Insurance, Exerte Partners, OTS, IDEA and Microsoft. The companies KEAN, KEO, THE COPY SHOP, PANAYIOTIDES GIFTS, THE CLASSIC HOTEL, CORINA SNACKS, FALOREMO TRADING, Prosilio, ZORPAS, LOUKOU DONUTS and EVENTORA have also sponsored the Hackathon with their products and services. The Hackathon was supported by the University of Cyprus (KIOS Centre for Intelligent Systems & Networks), the European University Cyprus (MECI), the Cyprus Institute, the Embassy of Israel in Cyprus, the Municipality of Nicosia and other important institutions and organizations. Media sponsor for the competition was ANT1, whereas online publicity was provided by Disrupt Cyprus and Impossible.Works.

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