Taipei to take part in NASA hackathon for the first time

Taipei will join 109 cities around the world in simultaneously hosting the NASA Space Apps Challenge April 29-30, with the northern Taiwan metropolis set to stage its event at National Taiwan University, according to the city's Department of Information Technology April 6.

Organized by the American Institute in Taiwan in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taipei City Government and NTU, this event marks the country's first time taking part in the international hackathon held annually since 2012. The main stage of this year's edition, which focuses on earth sciences, is in Sydney, Australia.

During the competition's two-day run, participating coders and engineers will utilize data collected by NASA to provide hardware, software and innovation solutions addressing challenges in five categories: the Earth and Us, Planetary Blues, Warning! Danger Ahead!, Our Ecological Neighborhood, and Ideate and Create.

According to DOIT Commissioner Lee Wei-bin, Taiwan is a global leader in hardware and software innovation. The official said he expects local talents to take center stage at the international competition and contribute to the sustainable development of the Earth.

As an example of Taiwan talents' exceptional efforts in similar global contests, Lee cited Taipei-based Team Akubic's successful performance against its rivals from 42 cities around the world that earned it first place in the Fishackathon 2016. The international competition was organized by the U.S. Department of State to create new applications and tools for use on mobile devices, allowing fishermen to work smarter and more safely.

According to the organizers, winners of each category will be announced during the week of May 23, with selected teams invited to attend NASA's upcoming rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Source: Taiwan Today