Last week, the second “CASSINI hackathon” took place in ten European countries, including Latvia. In Latvia, the hackathon took place online and, by using European Union space data, 35 participants addressed critical challenges in the Arctic region. The team “STOL” developed a navigation system for sea-based earth observation data and was recognized as the best by jury.

8 teams participated in the CASSINI hackathon in Latvia and offered their solutions to Arctic challenges. Team “STOL” ranked first and won a cash prize of 1800 EUR for the development of the idea and marketing services from the “Digital Marketing Factory” worth 200 EUR. As there was no Cassini hackathon in Poland, we filled out an application for a Latvian hackathon driven by interest. On a daily basis, we mainly work with Western European countries, so we were very excited to see how the events are organized in Latvia. We are delighted with the experience gained and pleasantly surprised by the jury’s assessment, ”says STOL team leader Piotreks.

2nd place and a cash prize in the amount of 950 euros and 15 hours of business development mentoring consultations from the “Kurzeme Business Incubator” were won by the team “ice (x)”, developing the system “ICEX”, which, in combination with existing technologies, would serve as a navigation tool for ships, showing ice fields, wave heights and other potential hazards.

3rd place and a € 750 cash prize went to the Ice Monkeys team, who designed artificial islands for fast-melting glaciers replacement in Arctic waters (vital refuge for walruses on a daily basis).

In total, more than 70 people took part in the hackaton in Latvia – participants, mentors, moderators, supporters and organizers. The participants of the hackathon not only learned new technical skills and demonstrated their existing knowledge to find unique solutions to challenges, but also met with professionals from various fields in mentoring sessions, as well as found new friends and partners.

The ideas and practical solutions that emerged during the hackathon were evaluated by an expert jury consisting of Diāna Pershtein-Lapkis, a representative of the Latvian Space Industry Association, Dainis Jakovels, a leading researcher at the Institute of Environmental Solutions, Elīna Miķelsone, Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Ideas and Innovation. Head of the Office of the Minister of Economics Artūrs Butāns and chairman of the board of the association “Green and Smart Technologies Cluster” Salvis Roga.