5 April 2020
ITIDA Sponsors ‘Wild Card Hackathon’

The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has partnered up with the community of technology, entrepreneurs and startups in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to sponsor and support Wild Card Hackathon. The hackathon, organized online, on March 27-29, aimed to encourage the innovation of technological solutions and proposals that contribute to facing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Robusta invited teams and individuals from across the region to build different components of a response system that helps people and businesses deal with the challenges and problems facing communities, as a result of the current crisis.

Several government bodies, private organizations, venture capital funds and business accelerators joined to support and sponsor the hackathon, to help find innovative solutions that contribute to reducing the negative impact of the crisis.

ITIDA supports this initiative through providing a number of resources and tools that help the teams and startups implement and develop their projects and proposed ideas. This included using the electronics innovation hubs in Smart Village, Borg El Arab Technology Park, in Alexandria, and Assiut Technology Park.

The number of 117 applications applied for the hackathon. Ideas and proposals were shared on the hackathon’s digital platform, with a number of selected advisers and judges choosing the best solutions that support the healthcare system, serve the continuation of work and contribute to protecting the society.

Thirty applications made it to the finals, five of which won, qualifying for support from the hackathon sponsors and funding agencies. The winners are applications and technological products that target curbing the virus and reducing the repercussions of the shortage of protection tools for medical staff.

An application developed by Methodology team called Reachout won first place. The app serves as a platform for managing the distribution and delivery of medical supplies among suppliers, manufacturers and customers, including hospitals and individuals.

Two different proposals won second place. The first is a preliminary research provided by Koy team, targeting developing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) technology, especially for medical purposes, such as muzzles, face masks and head covers, with adding a hydrophobic coating. The aim is to protect healthcare workers from different viruses, allow reusing those items and address shortage of preventive clothing all over the world.

The second proposal is a mobile application developed by Koolmap team, to serve individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. The is achieved through answering a number of questions that help determine if they were infected. Answers to these questions are processed, and locations of infected individuals are identified and sent to health organizations and involved institutions to put areas suspected of COVID-19 infection in quarantine.

The third place winner was Avoid team that developed a mobile application that identifies safe, infection-free areas by collecting the health data of users in such areas, thus avoiding imposing curfew everywhere. Another winner of the third place was Glaveko team, who developed an application to manage the list of medical suppliers, effectively.

ITIDA confirmed its readiness to provide all types of support to the proposed solutions of effective prototypes, through a range of different programs and initiatives that it offers to entrepreneurs and innovators.

The above-mentioned electronics innovation hubs, established within the framework of Egypt Makes Electronics (EME) presidential initiative, consists of four main components: a co-working space, an Internet of Things (IoT) laboratory, a fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab) and a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) laboratory. The three hubs have the same resources, except for the one in Smart Village, whose PCB lab focuses only on testing, checking and fixing PCBs.

ITIDA is strictly abiding by the safety and prevention guidelines imposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and the Cabinet decisions, targeting protecting citizens and ensuring their safety.

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