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Innovative Ideas Win KFAS’ Virtual Hackathon Competition

Jul 06, 2020

  • Talented teams presented concepts addressing current pandemic challenges
  • KFAS Partners included Supreme Council for Planning and Development, the United States Embassy in Kuwait, Agility Logistics and CODED

   The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) has concluded the virtual hackathon, in which a large number of participants competed to develop digital solutions for the purpose of helping private and governmental entities in the State of Kuwait address the challenges resulting from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of the 24-hour event, three competing teams were declared winners and rewarded for their creative projects.

The winners were: Noobs, an electronic application designed to schedule the shifts of delivery workers and determine the fastest and most appropriate way to deliver the shipment to its destination address (Route Optimization App); Binary Labs for their application that helps citizens check out the subsidized food and goods supply available to them and order it online (Subsidized Food Supply); and Team Alpha for their project that allows citizens to report specific situations and incidents to the relevant authorities, like the state of public areas cleanness and garbage collection and transportation to the municipality (Citizen Reporting System).

The hackathon was held in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, the United States Embassy in Kuwait, Agility Logistics, a world leading logistics company, as well as CODED, a Kuwait-based coding academy.

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, the Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences commented on the event saying that “the hackathon was held using virtual reality technology and the projects developed for the event were presented online by the participating teams that were very excited to take part in such a great and successful event.” He also highlighted that the organization of this event is part of the Foundation's efforts to make the best use of creative ideas and boost them by means of the latest digital technologies to help face the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kuwait.

Dr. Shihab-Eldin also expressed his appreciation for all the participating teams in the hackathon for their great efforts and exceptional work to provide creative digital solutions that will have concrete applications useful to the private and governmental entities’ endeavor to solve the problems and challenges that they are facing.

The Foundation's Director-General praised all the parties involved in the hackathon’s activities and their cooperation with one another. He also stressed that the cooperation between the Foundation and the United States Embassy in Kuwait aims to create and strengthen the links between the participants in the event and the involved experts from leading digital companies in the United States in order to enhance the sharing of knowledge and experiences.

The Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Kuwait, Alina Romanowski, expressed her pleasure with the distinguished projects that competed during the hackathon, adding that the American Embassy has facilitated the participation of three prominent American entrepreneurs to share their experience with the participants, and be a source of motivation and inspiration for them.

Commenting on this event, the Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, Dr. Khaled Mahdi, praised the distinguished projects presented by the participating teams, stressing that they showed the creative energies of the Kuwaiti youth, who will play an active role in promoting the development process in the post pandemic period.

The Chairperson of Agility's Board of Directors Ms. Henadi Al-Saleh affirmed that the company has been using digital technology in all its operations and continued to boost this operational approach after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. She noted that Agility's participation with KFAS in this event is the second cooperation between the two institutions in a field that aims at providing opportunities for young people and strengthening the national efforts to find digital solutions to the challenges that the country is facing.

Mr. Ahmad Marafi, CODED co-founder, has also praised the very special projects teams that competed in the hackathon. He highlighted his company’s hard work to build the bridge between the government’s agencies and the creative talents in the technology’s community in Kuwait to provide them with the opportunity they deserve to express their creativity and participate in developing advanced systems and applications.

The hackathon’s judging panel was composed of Dr. Ammar Al-Hussaini, Deputy Director General at the Central Agency for Information Technology, Eng Ahmad Al-Ghareeb, Director of Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Health, Ms. Henadi Al-Saleh, Chairperson of Agility's Board of Directors, Dr. Bassam Alfeeli, Director of Innovation and Enterprise Directorate at the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences and Mr. Zeyad Al-Subaih, Director of Information Technology & Knowledge Management at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement.