San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program Taps Public and Private Sector for Climate Change Solutions

CWC News
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Business Wire
San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program Taps Public and Private Sector for Climate Change Solutions

by Bonnie Shaw

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Public and private sectors in San Diego are combining forces in the first San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program beginning the weekend of May 20 – 22, 2016 at the University of California, San Diego. The goal: bring together developers, designers and creative thinkers to come up with novel solutions to support climate action and support them with data, resources, and the chance to commercialize their solution.

The City of San Diego has identified five strategic areas of focus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the quality of life for area residents: climate resiliency; energy and water efficiency; clean and renewable energy; zero waste; and biking, walking, transit, and land use. Hackathon teams are challenged to come up with solutions to help meet the goals of the City’s climate action plan and develop ways to contribute to the future prosperity and high quality of life for San Diego.

The San Diego SmartCity Hackathon will be the kickoff event to a larger SmartCity Innovation Program.

“The City is invested in this project because we know that by partnering with the university and business community we can build a competitive advantage for San Diego,” said David Graham, Deputy COO of the City of San Diego. “We see the SmartCity Hackathon and the Innovation Program as creative ways to tap the rich talent in our city and find inventive solutions to combat climate change.”

Those interested in the challenge can form teams and apply to participate in the San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program by registering at http://smartcityhackathon.io no later than May 6.

Once teams have been accepted to participate they will have access to about 500 data sets from the City and Hackathon partners, some of which have not been made public in the past. Approximately 20 percent are about places and geography, another 20 percent are about biology and biological systems. Energy production and usage also make up a sizable portion of the sets. The rest cover a broad spectrum of local and global weather pattern information, data about San Diego infrastructure and transit, City contracts, and other public datasets. Participants are free to incorporate any data they feel necessary to support their submissions.

“The main goal for San Diego SmartCity Hackathon is to crowdsource the most innovative technology solutions from our private and public sectors in the City of San Diego, including tech, academia, corporations, independent software developers, designers and others. They can help the City deliver on the five strategies within its Climate Action Plan and commercialize the winning solutions,” said Daniel Obodovski, San Diego SmartCity Hackathon organizer and author of The Silent Intelligence.

The winning Hackathon entry that best addresses a climate action challenge will be awarded $5,000 in prize money, provided by The San Diego Foundation. All other finalists will receive notable prizes that will be announced at the beginning of the Hackathon.

The Innovation Program will be a continuation of the Hackathon by providing mentorship, additional research and development, and data sources for participants wishing to pursue a path to commercialization of solutions to meet climate change challenges.

“The top prize is a draw for sure, but we believe the biggest award for the finalists of the Hackathon is the potential for one or more of the Hackathon participants to commercially implement the proposed solution and/or assistance with further research and development,” said Professor Sujit Dey, Director for Center of Wireless Communications at UC San Diego.

Organizers of the San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program are The Center for Wireless Center for Wireless Communications at UC San Diego, The Silent Intelligence and the City of San Diego.

Partners and sponsors include Open San Diego, FabLab San Diego , Cleantech San Diego, CyberHive San Diego, Qualcomm, Teradata Labs, OSIsoft, Itron, Splunk, Ingenu, The San Diego Foundation, Clearpoint Agency, and Emory, Ludwig LLP.

More information about the San Diego SmartCity Hackathon and Innovation Program can be found here - http://smartcityhackathon.io.