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"Your region, your data" - VKU Hackathon 2019 in Berlin

This week, the Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V. (VKU, German Association of Public Utilities) held its association conference, the leading event of municipal economy in Germany, in Berlin. Parallel to the conference, EXXETA organized the VKU Hackathon 2019 for the association under the motto "Your region, your data".

The aim of the hackathon was to develop data-supported ideas for the application of new technologies in the municipal economy in interdisciplinary teams within 48 hours, from Sunday to Tuesday. The aim was to solve problems in a structured manner, identify potentials, build prototypes and finally present them to a jury and the plenum.

The 32 participants in 9 teams impressively demonstrated to the representatives of the municipal companies that great results can be achieved within a very short time within the framework of a hackathon.

In preparation for the hackathon, EXXETA was able to win five external partners who provided relevant data from their database for the challenges: Wasserwerke Leipzig, Stadt Freiburg, DB Smarty City, Cognigy GmbH from Düsseldorf and MIT.BUS GmbH from the city of Gießen. These partners not only provided data, but also formulated the tasks for the participating teams within the framework of the challenges, such as predicting the water consumption of a city by including external variables such as climate data or determining congestions by analysing the movement data of buses and optimising transport network planning.

After one and a half days of prototype development, all participants presented their ideas to a six-member jury on Tuesday morning. The four best teams were then given the opportunity to pitch their results in front of 1,000 listeners in the plenum. The winning team was selected by live voting via a web app and, together with the runners-up, received prizes worth a total of 5,000 euros.

The team "BTD" took first place with a solution to improve the forecast for the strongly fluctuating water consumption in Leipzig. The team "freimove" finished second and the teams "ACDC" and "stauweg" shared third place.