International hackathon “Hack2Change” was held for the first time

With the motto “Change the future of your region - in only 36 hours!” from September 23 to September 24, international online hackathon “Hack2Change” was held for the first time. In six multinational teams there was an opportunity to find solutions for real life challenges identified by local companies and other stakeholders. Nine participants from Latvia took part in the hackathon.

Hackathon was co-organised by higher education institutions from six countries across Europe. Latvia was represented by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) within the project “E³UDRES²”. “Smart & Sustainable Regions” were the main theme, but each country's representatives raised one challenge in one of three thematic blocks: the circular economy, human contribution to artificial intelligence, well-being and active ageing.

After a 36-hour work, 1st place was won by a team that developed a solution for “ABN Cleanroom” (Belgium) company's challenge - Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find the right talents that fit within the company. The team's solution was designed to reduce the workload of recruiters, using artificial intelligence in the first stages of the selection to identify candidates' relevance to the skills needed by the company and the internal culture of the company. In the team participated students from ViA Marks Cimermanis un Daniels Dementjevs, and pupil Valdemārs Šperbergs (tech Saldus). 
The 2nd place was a awarded to team represented by ViA student Roberts Ronins Puķītis, but in 3rd place - the team represented by ViA students Renārs Pikaļovs un Kārlis Puriņš.

“Being a regional institution of higher education, we can be proud that we are developing strong cooperation with universities in other parts of Europe and we can give to students of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences and the people of Valmiera Municipality the opportunity to participate with their ideas and solutions at an international level. It is certainly a valuable and exciting experience - to undertake to address real problems that are important for regional companies, and to see the result in only 36 hours,” says one of the organisers of the event, Inguna Kucina (ViA) .

Thank you to every participant of the hackathon! Thank you to Laila Gercāne, head of the Vidzeme Planning Region Development and Project Division, for the work in the jury; thank you to Oskars Balodis and the Latvian Rural Consultation and Education Centre for the challenge! Thank you Saldus vocational school  for attracting participants! Thank you to the organisers of the event, the whole E³UDRES²  project team!

E³UDRES² is the European University Alliance that follows the idea "From Europe – For Europe" by developing European solutions to regional problems. More about the project: