The COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon was already the 17th hackathon organised by the Plan4All association in cooperation with the Czech Centre for Science and Society (CCSS) and other H2020 projects including SmartAgriHubs. It was based on the traditional model of the INSPIRE Hackathon, which is not a single event, it’s a process that is designed to efficiently exploit the achieved results of previous hackathons on developing new innovations. Due to the limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation, this event was triggered as a virtual hackathon.

Figure 1. The COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon 2020 logo.

The main goal of the COVID19 INSPIRE Hackathon was to support innovation in agriculture through information technology, help agriculture recover from the problems that were caused by the coronavirus crisis as well as search for new business models. Overall, thirteen innovation experiments were identified for the COVID19 INSPIRE Hackathon 2020.

The COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon was divided into 5 main stages:

Figure 2. The COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon 2020 Schedule.

In the period October 15 – November 30 2020 two main stages of the COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon took place – the hacking stage and final stage. During the hacking stage, teams work together to bring new solutions regarding 13 Innovation Experiments defined in the preparation stage of the hackathon. More specifically, the team work is to collect technology and data, explore & ideate & co-create the IEs and develop & test the IE solutions. Another important part of the hacking stage is the capacity building actions and dissemination & communication. The capacity building was developed virtually through the webinars & online training (September 25 – October 26) and communication channels that were established for each IE – e.g. Skype, WhatsApp, Google docs. Another important part of the capacity building was mentoring, counselling, coaching and technical assistance executed by 20 IE mentors. Leveraging local knowledge or experience was, besides webinars and mentoring, done via ongoing H2020 projects, initiatives, DIHs: Plan4all hub, PoliRural hub, SIEUSOIL hub, Agrihub and SmartAfriHub.

The COVID-19 INSPIRE Hackathon was terminated by a final presentation of results & awards ceremony held on 19th November 2020. The final virtual event together with the collection of the final reports fall into the final hackathon stage that aims at presentation and promotion of the results of IEs and selection of top 3 solutions by the jury members based on evaluation criteria that were defined in the preparation stage. The jury members: Jovana Vlaskalin (BioSense Institute), Beata Vörösová (CzechInvest), Maris Albers (University of Latvia) and Josef Hnojil (Geobusiness) announced the following winners for the COVID-19 INSPIRE hackathon:

Figure 3. The COVID-19 INSPIRE Webinar – Challenge #6 PoliRural Cases.

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