Winners of Presidential Hackathon awards honored in Taipei

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President Tsai Ing-wen (fourth left) attends the Presidential Hackathon awards ceremony on Sunday. (Presidential Office photo)

President Tsai Ing-wen (fourth left) attends the Presidential Hackathon awards ceremony on Sunday. (Presidential Office photo)

Twelve winners of the 2020 Presidential Hackathon were honored Sunday (Sept. 20) at the Presidential Office in Taipei City, spotlighting government efforts to address societal needs through innovation, interdisciplinary cooperation and open source data utilization.

During the award ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen said the collaborative spirit of the hackathon is best illustrated by the public and private partnerships aimed at enhancing Taiwan’s disease management efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s event attracted twice as many submissions as last year, with more than 10,000 members of the public taking part in winner selection via online voting, Tsai said. Such active participation in public affairs is essential to optimizing government performance and spurring continuous progress in civil society, she added.

Tsai also thanked the American Institute in Taiwan for jointly organizing two categories of the competition, adding that multinational cooperation is key to addressing global challenges.

Coordinated by the Executive Yuan under the auspices of the PO, the third edition of the hackathon featured domestic and international categories themed around U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Taiwan-U.S. coronavirus hackathon.

According to the EY, five local teams beat out 245 other entries for prizes in the domestic track, offering solutions in ecological conservation, energy saving, environmental protection, health promotion through smart weather forecasts and mapping public drinking fountains.

CivicDataLab from India and Learning Man from Taiwan outperformed 49 other submissions from 30 plus countries and territories to top the international competition. The former proposed a performance index to enhance efficiency of medical resource allocation in India, while the latter created a tool to promote information transparency in social housing development.

A total of 53 teams from seven countries competed in the coronavirus hackathon, with five teams from Taiwan and the U.S. taking home the top prizes. Their solutions span information collection in the onset of the epidemic, case investigation and management during the outbreak and post-pandemic assistance.