Ohood Al Roumi: 'The UAE is keen on encouraging the minds and motivating the talents to innovate solutions based on digital technology.'
Majed Al Mesmar : 'We are convinced that successful people believe in innovation and creative thinking.'
Malcolm Johnson: 'The International Virtual Hackathon will help innovators bring the benefits of digital technology to people around the world.'
Dubai - January 26, 2022: The Telecommunications and Digital Regulatory Authority (TDRA) honored the winners of the International Virtual Hackathon in a ceremony attended by H.E. Ohood bin Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, H.E.ENG. Majed Sultan AL Mesmar, TDRA Director-General, and H.E Malcolm Johnson was re-elected ITU Deputy Secretary-General.
The International Virtual Hackathon was organized by the TDRA in partnership with the World Summit on the Information Society Forum and supervision of ITU from 8 to 24 November 2021. The hackathon was attended by 1319 participants from all over the world, distributed into 233 from the Arab region, 1041 from Asia, 22 from Europe, 16 from the USA, and 7 from Africa. They provided ideas in the three hackathon themes, which are: digital safety, blockchain for human good, and climate change.
One team was selected as a champion and 3 teams in each challenge were selected as main winners. A jury was created by the ITU and TDRA to evaluate participants on basis of 4 criteria. These criteria include 1. Defining the challenge and the solution, 2. Novelty and creativity of the solution, 3. Applicability of the solution in real life and its positive impact on the environment and people 4. The ability of the solution to address real-world problems, in addition to adherence to the guidelines and procedures for participating in the challenge.
H.E. Ohood Al Roumi emphasized that the UAE Government is keen to embody the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Ruler of Dubai, may Allah protect him, to attract minds and motivate talents to innovate solutions based on digital technology.
She said: 'Hackathons are platforms that enhance effective and constructive partnerships among the government, society, talents, and innovators to develop tools and solutions. These solutions could be used to support governments, applied in various sectors, and employed to improve the well-being of the society members.'
Ohood Al Roumi pointed out the importance of ICT in building a more sustainable future, and the central role of digital transformation in improving the lives of societies by developing government work, stimulating economic growth, creating new job opportunities, and developing vital sectors. She stressed that the acceleration of technological development contributed to creating significant changes in the areas of work and life. This technological development will continue to provide opportunities and capabilities that enhance the flexibility of governments and their readiness for the future.
Al Roumi said: 'Digital technology will contribute significantly to the efforts exerted to achieve the sustainable development goals. Enhancing the benefit of digital transformation to achieve these goals requires cooperation between governments to accelerate and ensure safe and inclusive digital transformation. It also requires strategic partnerships among the government, the private sector, international organizations, and societies.
Ohood Al Roumi praised the role of the World Summit on the Information Society in employing the potential of the digital revolution to serve societies. She thanked the Telecommunications and the Digital Government Regulatory Authority for organizing the hackathon, which reflects the active role of the UAE in supporting international efforts to achieve sustainable development goals. She praised the level of participation and congratulated the hackathon winners. Al Roumi called on the winners to continue to work, innovate, and develop solutions aimed at serving society and ensuring a better future for next generations.
H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TDRA'S Director-General, congratulated the winners and thanked all the Hackathon competitors and participants. H.E said: 'Those who competed in the hackathon, regardless of their cultures, ethnicities, and locations, embody human brotherhood, the unity of human destiny. They painted a picture of a future that embraces all of us; a future of sustainable development, security, safety, and prosperity.'
H.E added: 'All participants are winners. We are convinced that successful people believe in innovation and creative thinking, even if they are not lucky in this or that station. On the other hand, the value of any idea is measured by its application on the ground, in order to take its role in the path of sustainable development. That's why you have to complete your mission to turn your ideas into real projects.'
ITU Deputy Secretary-General Malcolm Johnson said: 'I would like to congratulate TDRA on this initiative which will help innovators bring the benefits of digital technology to people around the world. The topic is very appropriate as ICTs are undoubtedly the key to our sustainable future and can deliver timely solutions to the complex challenges facing the world, including the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. This has never been made more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic.'
10 winners in the hackathon challenges
The U-Team won the grand prize for a blockchain project based on innovative, safer, and more efficient real-estate transactions. The Privizen project submitted by the Q-Aztecs team was ranked first in the digital safety challenge. It aims to protect privacy on basis of artificial intelligence. The safe VigiPopuli browser, of the WolfPackSociety team, was ranked second. The assistant robot developed by the Robotics for future team was ranked third.
In the challenge blockchain for human good, the blockchain project based on innovative, safer, and more efficient real-estate transactions, submitted by The U-Team was ranked first. Decentral Identity Management project based on remote healthcare and blockchain, submitted by the Unknowns team, was ranked second. The Lyfetime project submitted by TeamLyfetime was ranked third.
In the climate change challenge, the poisonous mosquitoes identification project submitted by the ML4ENV team was ranked first. PKL project for identifying expected landslides, submitted by the Delta team was ranked second. The AI Tree developed by the Ai Tree team was ranked thirds.
It is noteworthy that the International Virtual Hackathon is an example of TDRA's efforts to serve the community, and its responsibility to adopt digital technology, achieve digital transformation at the national level, and exchange knowledge on international platforms.