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CASSINI Hackathon returns to Cyprus focusing on space, defence and cybersecurity

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The 5th CASSINI hackathon will be held later this month by the NGO organisation Citizens In Power (CIP) in Cyprus.

The event, which will start on Friday, March 24 and end on Sunday, March 26, will take place at the Information Centre and Training for Employment and Entrepreneurship (KEEAED) of the Nicosia Municipality.

The CASSINI hackathon and mentoring is the first action in the implementation of CASSINI, the European Commission’s new initiative to support innovative entrepreneurs, startups, and small, and medium enterprises in the space industry, including New Space, during 2021-2027.

The CASSINI Hackathons are a series of semi-annual hackathons that tackle global challenges with European space technologies.

Each hackathon is a hybrid event that takes place in 10 different locations across Europe simultaneously.

The purpose is to bring together young entrepreneurs, technologists and researchers from around Europe, and to provide an attractive environment to develop innovative applications and learn about the European space programmes.

Participants are supported with training resources and dedicated sessions on how to access these data and services, and with training to publicly showcase their solutions. The three winners of each hackathon receive access to CASSINI Mentoring, a tailor-made mentoring and coaching scheme.

Verhaert Masters In Innovation and SpaceTec Partners form the core team implementing the CASSINI hackathons and mentoring action on behalf of the European Commission and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA).

The CASSINI hackathon kicks off on Friday at 5 pm and mainly focuses on cyber security and defence issues. The event is held under the auspices of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO).

cassini hackathon 2023

At the conclusion of the two-day hackathon on Sunday, prizes will be awarded to the successful teams and certificates of participation issued.

The Citizens In Power (CIP) team has been selected to implement this coming hackathon in Cyprus.

“This creates opportunities for the local ecosystem and young entrepreneurs to enter and connect to a broader community, access networks that enhance their expertise, and reinforce their knowledge. The event is co-organised with the Nicosia Multifunctional Centre in the context of the project, Information and Training Centre for Employment and Business Action, which is co-funded by the European Development Fund of the EU, the government and the Municipality of Nicosia,” CIP said.

At the 5th CASSINI hackathon, participants are invited to use space data and signals to develop defence and security solutions for Europe.

The hackathon is open to everyone. In addition, it will offer comprehensive digital resources to enable participants to utilise space data and develop an innovative business pitch. In Cyprus, prizes will include €1,000 and additional business support.

In the fifth edition of the hackathon, the organisers are looking at three crucial challenges:

First, enabling cross-terrain mobility. Can you create a solution that enables mobility for defence forces, emergency response teams, and humanitarian aid workers. They are looking for tools to assist with mission planning, operational logistics, and search-and-rescue.

Second, making the seas more secure. This challenge invites participants to develop solutions for maritime intelligence. You might be monitoring security threats or illegal activity in order to make our seas more secure.

Third, protecting our critical infrastructure. They are looking for solutions which assess or mitigate disruption to public services and supply chains. For example, how would you use EU Space data to protect essential services from cyberattacks?

“In the context of strongly increased demand and investments in defence and security, the CASSINI Hackathon is a unique opportunity to discover and explore the potential of EU space data and their relevance for defence and security end-users. It marks an important and innovative step towards stronger European defence cooperation. The EU Space Programme and its flagships Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS offer a wealth of data which could be utilised for defence and security,” François Arbault, Director for Defence Industry at the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG ‘DEFIS’), said.

“Hackathon participants across ten EU Member States ranging from coders to entrepreneurs will come together and generate innovative ideas and solutions benefitting space and defence. I strongly believe that the participants of this hackathon will better realise how they can seize the opportunities of the European Defence Fund, notably thanks to the EU Defence Innovation Scheme, to further develop their innovative ideas,” he concluded.

The NGO, Citizens in Power is one of the leading organisations in Cyprus’ entrepreneurial ecosystem. They’re on a mission to promote and develop young people’s entrepreneurial skills and collaborate with local partners in defence and security.

This edition of the Hackathon is supported by lots of partners such as the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation & Digital Policy, Ministry of Defence, Digital Security Authority, CyRIC, Cyprus Computer Society, Municipality of Nicosia (KEEAED), University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology, Open University of Cyprus, CYENS, UCLan Cyprus, RITE (Research Institute for Technological Evolution).

Registration for the 5th CASSINI Hackathon is open and the deadline is the 17th of March. Click here for more.

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