Skip to main content


Social Innovation

Event summary

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.

Judges at the Hitachi Social Innovation Hackathon 2018:

  • Anand Singh, Executive Director & Director of Business Operations, Hitachi Australia
  • Murat Gel, Senior Research and Development Analyst, R&D Centre, Hitachi Australia, and Senior Research Scientist CSIRO Manufacturing Business Unit, CSIRO
  • Clive Mayhew, Chairman of the Board and Investor, Open Learning Global Pty Ltd
  • Joshua Flannery, Director, Sydney Startup Hub and Co-founder & CEO, Innovation Dojo

Mentors at the Hitachi Social Innovation Hackathon 2018:

  • Michael Fox, Senior Consultant & Process Specialist, Hitachi Consulting
  • Matthew Welch, Consultant, Social Innovation Business, Hitachi Consulting
  • Tim South, Research & Development Manager, Wenco International Mining Systems
  • Aaron Baguley, Solutions Consultant, Hitachi Vantara

Speakers and Judges at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2018 SYDNEY:

  • Marie Lilleborgen, Corporate Affairs Manager, Hitachi Australia
  • Karen Lawson, CEO Slingshot Accelerator / Sydney Startup Hub Advisory Board Committee Member
  • George Peppou, Growlab Program Manager and Startup Mentor, Cicada Innovations Incubator
  • Natasha Rawlings, Startup Investor & Entrepreneur