The European Commission is to host a virtual pan-European hackathon this weekend in a bid to develop solutions to coronavirus-related challenges.
Over 12,000 participants have registered for the hackathon which will cover a total of seven challenge areas, one of which calls on fintechs across the world to build digital finance tools focused on tackling the Covid-19 crisis.
The best projects will be invited to join the European Innovation Council Covid platform to be launched on 27 April, to make connections with end users (such as hospitals) and bolster access to funding sources across Europe. The hackathon represents one of ten priority actions for coordinated research and innovation encompassed within the European Union's First "ERAvsCORONA" Action Plan.
The Action Plan notes that the hackathon is expected to "shorten the time to deployment of innovative solutions developed by start-ups and policy makers since innovators will be able to leverage the work already done by other innovators in
Europe," rather than starting from scratch or rehashing work already carried out elsewhere.
Mariya Gabriel, commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, European Commission, comments: “The #EUvsVirus Hackathon is a great example of the European cooperative spirit I so admire. When times get tough we come together, work together and we will beat this virus together for everyone.”
This isn’t the first hackathon organised to address Covid-19 related challenges this year, with MIT co-ordinating the MIT Covid-19 Challenge: Beat the Pandemic hackathon in early April, and The Global Hack initiative which saw 40+ hackathons unite across the globe as part of the Hack the Crisis movement. One of the winners, Vendito, created a tool which enables local Mexican retailers to take their business online.
From 7:00pm (CEST) tonight, competitors will commence hacking which will continue until 5:00pm Sunday evening. A series of expert webinars and Q&A sessions with companies will be aired throughout Saturday. The Closing Ceremony will take place at 6.00pm Sunday.
You can still register as a problem solver, mentor, judge or event partner here, and you watch live streaming of the event here.