A dedicated hackathon Hack4Vilnius took place during the weekend of October 19-21, 2018, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The city dedicated hackathon was one of the key initiative designed to support the implementation of smart specialisation strategy. Hack4Vilnius addressed all national S3 priorities, with special focus on inclusive and creative society, information and communication technologies, and sustainable environment. Smart city hackathons is a cutting-edge practice to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, enhance networking capacities among public and private organisations, and provide extensive learning opportunities for those involved.

The three-day event Hack4Vilnius aimed to promote innovation in the capital city was organized to find ideas and solutions on how to make Vilnius a healthier, cleaner, smarter and more mobile city. Over 100 participants, including programmers, designers, business developers and students from different fields all gathered at the Sunrise Valley campus. Nearly 30 experts and representatives of city organizations were helping the teams to develop their chosen solutions.

The City Mayor and patron of Hack4Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, opened the event on Friday evening and encouraged the participants to use open data from Vilnius. Modern city and transparent administration go hand in hand with the open data, which also can be used for more applications. It can be analysed and adapted to create smart solutions to benefit the public.

Participating teams were working on challenges identified by themselves and proposed by residents. Everyone had the opportunity to register a challenge on the Hack4Vilnius website. During the three days of hackathon, participants had the opportunity to consult and work with mentors from prominent business and public companies, including successful start-ups, business support organisations, and corporate lawyers.

On Sunday, the Hack4Vilnius winners were selected out of 17 competing teams. According to the evaluation committee, the main prize of €1,000 funded by Cognizant Technology Solutions Lithuania, was awarded to the ‘Reality Check’ team. The team developed a prototype of the ‘GetPet’ app, dedicated to promoting long and short term pet care. As verified by a survey, animal shelters in Vilnius city are overcrowded and need a solution to facilitate finding persons for temporary care of animals. According to the Reality Check team, existing platforms of the animal shelters might be combined through an easily accessible and attractive Tinder-like app. The prize founders are keen to ensure that the prototype is realised as a real product, and are meeting the team to discuss further steps in implementing the project. The opportunity to develop ‘GetPet’ will be also supported by Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park, which offered a working space in the co-working space ‘Work Inn’ as part of their contribution to the Hack4Vilnius prizes and awards. 

Tickets to the conference ‘Build Stuff 2018’ were granted for the most complex and work intensive solution. The tickets were awarded to the team which created a prototype of ‘bevent’ platform, aimed at facilitating event planning. Three months of membership in Innovation and creativity centre ‘LinkMenų fabrikas’ at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University were awarded to the ‘Let’Scoot’ team which developed a solution which incorporated electric scooters into the transport infrastructure. For the best GIS (geographic information systems) application for Vilnius city, the ‘Urban Guard’ team was awarded with a monetary prize funded by ‘Hnit-Baltic.’ ‘Urban Guard’ developed a prototype for a Vilnius safety map. Special prize of ’Susisiekimo paslaugos’ was awarded to the team ’Hexito’ who proposed an app to adapt public transport to those visually impaired via smart technologies.  

Hack4Vilnius was organised by Sunrise Valley Science and Technology park, Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Cognizant Technology Solutions Lithuania.

For further information on Hack4Vilniusplease contact Evelina Kutkaitytė, Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park on e-mail [email protected].