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In November 2018, Hitachi hosted its first ever Social Innovation Hackathon in the region ahead of the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum (HSIF) 2018 SYDNEY, showcasing its commitment to R&D and co-creation. As well as this, Hitachi is also committed to understanding the needs and challenges of society, and the achievement of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By coming up with innovative solutions through a wide range of activities, we can respond to these important challenges. Since hackathons are therefore all about problem solving, Hitachi opened up hackathon entries to the research and academic sector, and put forward three challenges in the areas of Agriculture, Mining, and Smart Cities.
Partnering with ‘Innovation Dojo’ for the first time, a company that specialises in hackathons and cross-cultural entrepreneurship, the Hitachi Social Innovation Hackathon 2018 was held on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November, involving nine teams who each chose to focus on a specific challenge. On the second day of the event, each team pitched their idea in front of a panel of judges. Four top teams were selected as the winners and given the opportunity to pitch their final ideas around Social Innovation in Agriculture, Mining and Smart Cities in front of a new judging panel at HSIF a week later, and in the interim were provided with mentor sessions from Hitachi Vantara, Hitachi Consulting, and Wenco International Mining Systems.
At HSIF on 21 November, the four teams pitched their final ideas in front of three external judges and more than 100 guests. The winning team, ‘Team Samaritan’, were announced as the winners and awarded a total prize money of $10,000 by Dr Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President and Executive Office, CTO and General Manager of Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. The winning idea was to increase safety in cities, by implementing facial recognition technology applied through social media. Hitachi will continue to work with the team moving forwards to help them realise their potential and provide ongoing mentorship.