Climate-KIC hosts worldwide climate protection hackathons called Climathons. What exactly are hackathons? The word “hackathon” is a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon”, and is used to define a competitive event at which prototypes that are designed to solve a given set of challenges are programmed under time pressure. At the 24-hour Vienna Climathon in October 2018, around 70 participants formed small teams devoted to a number of challenges presented by Munich Re and ERGO, among others. A winning team was then selected for each challenge.
The challenges to be mastered
“How can energy demand be flexibly managed and decentral resources be used more efficiently?“ was the challenge presented by Munich Re, which a total of around 20 participants approached in very different ways. “It’s simply fascinating how much enthusiasm the teams applied to our challenge and how much can be achieved in just 24 hours. It is also heart-warming to see how much the teams benefit from our expertise and can bounce back ideas.” Ulrich Bohnert, Munich Re’s green technologies expert commented, “I was particularly impressed by the intense collaboration and focus on the task at hand. Munich Re has been involved in the dynamic industry of renewable energy with innovative insurance solutions for nearly ten years.”
The subject of the ERGO challenge was “How can sharing of (private) means of transport be promoted to reduce traffic in the city”. The participating groups of four developed an app that connects private car owners with prospective renters, a sharing app for SHARK-bikes, a mobile platform for the city of Vienna, and the Triply app, with which event managers can organise shuttle services that also include public means of transportation.
Innovative ideas and a net positive
The team 72HEAVEN won the Munich Re challenge thanks to their idea of combining private energy sources and energy storage in a digital power plant. 72HEAVEN thus gives everyone the opportunity to make an active contribution to energy transition. In the ERGO challenge, the Triply team came in first with their creative combination between environmental protection and safety: the app ensures that there are fewer cars on the road and that visitors to events get home safely. Lothar Kohl, innovation expert at ERGO Direkt, was impressed by “how creative and highly concentrated everyone went about mastering the challenge. And it is good to see how they also benefited from our expertise.” The Vienna Climathon in October 2018 was an all-out success that gave rise to innovative solutions for limiting the consequences of climate change, and made another significant contribution to the concerted efforts of Munich Re and ERGO in this field.