BrightHack generates solutions with potential

december 3, 2018

Heerlen, December 3

A digital wristband that shortens long waits in the ER. A platform Dutch companies can use to check the reliability of doing business with European companies in real-time. An educational program for students and teachers, adapted to students’ personal needs and performance. And a “police portrait tracking system” for the police based on gamification techniques. 

These are just a few of the ideas and concrete solutions revealed during the BrightHack event held at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen this past weekend. The smart use of data and technology was the foundation for all these outcomes.

Coming mainly from universities, schools of higher education and secondary vocational education in the Netherlands, Belgium Germany and Italy, the 270 participants focused on problems in security, education, health sector/care and international trade for 48 hours straight. This turnout makes BrightHack the largest hackathon in the Euregion. The challenges were submitted by parties such as the National Police Force, the Province of Limburg, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Zuyderland hospital group, Accenture and the Chamber of Commerce. In order to find the right mix of creativity and reality, the participants were given real datasets to work with.

These organizations can now start putting the solutions, ideas and suggestions that came out of the three-day BrightHack event to good use. During the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, these “clients” were extremely satisfied with how useful the ideas were that BrightHack produced in so many areas. The organizations will now be able to start putting the solutions and ideas to concrete use, together with the teams that participated. 

Joining forces for talent
The hackathon is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and the Brightlands Smart Services Campus (also within the scope of the Techruption program), in cooperation with Young Creators. The National Police Force, the Province of Limburg, Zuyderland and the Chamber of Commerce are linked to the various challenges as track sponsors. In tackling their challenges, the participants received support from experts from major parties such as Accenture, Conclusion, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Scienceand the track sponsors. In addition to the opportunity to experiment and gain experience, participants could also win great prizes. The first prize for each of the four tracks was a commission valued at €12,500 and a coaching workshop worth €1,000. There were also second and third place awards, including cash prizes and vouchers. The total jackpot of prizes was worth more than €60,000.

Young BrightHack
Prior to the main BrightHack event, more than 250 primary and secondary education pupils focused on the education of the future during the Young BrightHack event on Friday. During this first hackathon for pupils in the Netherlands, participants brainstormed on topics such as the teacher of the future, online learning, an average day at school in the future and the question of whether schools will even exist years from now. The ideas and solutions were presented to the Province of Limburg, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, teachers, school administrators and parents.  

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