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Digitising Green Spaces Hackathon

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DateFriday, May 28, 2021

MTU 3rd year marketing student Luke Otter outside Bishop Lucey Park in Cork City. Luke’s team plans to look at increasing urban green spaces by identifying opportunities for pocket parks using satellite images. Photo Credit: NSC

Digitising Green Spaces Hackathon

National Space Centre and Munster Technological University to Host CASSINI's Digitising Green Spaces Hackathon

The National Space Centre (NSC) in partnership with Munster Technological University (MTU) are hosting the first of a series of six hackathons focused on using satellite data and signals to spur innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship with space technology.


On behalf of the European Commission’s Competitive Space Start-ups for Innovation Initiative (CASSINI), which nurtures business applications of digital space technologies, the Ireland hackathon is being organised by the NSC, the most westerly teleport in Europe and Ireland’s only commercial ground station. Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984, NSC's €24M facility provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and spacecraft, academic research partnerships and space industry consulting, along with campus space for a dozen Irish space startups and EU-headquartered space enterprises.



Over the weekend of the 19th and 20th of June, the hackathon teams from nine EU countries will use satellite images and signals to build solutions for the hackathon’s theme, Digitising Green Spaces, which aims to develop solutions to global challenges and make a sustainable impact on Earth.


The virtual competition is open to anyone over 18 including students, startups, businesses and people or organisations from computer science, marketing, business, design, environmental studies and more. Participants can register in teams or sign up as individuals to be matched into a team before the start of the competition. Teams will be supported with business, technical, and marketing workshops along the way. 


Dr Niall Smith, Head of Research at MTU, said; “Hacker is just a term for a person who can apply a skillset to a problem,” explained . "If you are a have a business idea that’s scalable and has the potential to address a global problem, the Cassini Hackathon will deliver hands-on experience of how the rapidly growing space sector can give you a competitive edge in ways you might not yet imagine."  


Sabrina Dent, Head of Marketing and Business Development at NSC said; "Whilst June's hackathon is being held virtually due to COVID-19, the October hackathon should hopefully be physical. In the meantime we're giving participants some of that traditional hackathon fun with Hacker Packs posted out to registered teams, as well as an online Games Night."


The first three winning teams of the Irish competition will receive €2,500, €1,500 and €500, and each of these teams will also receive a .earth domain and a hosting package for one year from Blacknight, the Irish hackathon sponsor. The winning Irish team will also go on to the European finals in July.



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