BEST@Coimbra: Hackathon + Visit@Altice Labs

26/07/2019     BEST@Coimbra / Hackathon / IoT / Smart Cities / Big Data / Analytics

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On the 22nd July, a group of 33 students of the BEST@Coimbra - Board of European Students of Technology programme, integrated in a 2-week Summer Course, visited Altice Labs and participated in a hackathon.

As part of innovation management activities, this hackathon was dedicated to the theme "From green to smart and green: how to transform Crow Island (Azores) into a smart island" and the goal was to gather disruptive ideas and feedback from abroad.

In the morning, a brief presentation of Altice Labs was made by Paulo Margaça, from the Technology and Innovation Strategy department, where he talked about the main projects and historical milestones of the company to the 33 students of BEST@Coimbra. One of the goals of this students group during the course was to have real contact with an advanced technology company that had research work and products on the market using the Internet of Things.

Next, Fernando Morgado, also from the Technology and Innovation Strategy department, made a more technical presentation on IoT, Smart Cities and Big Data (topics relevant for the afternoon challenge).

The presentations ended with Pedro Carvalho, from the Technology and Innovation Strategy department, who explained the hackathon challenge, leaving the students motivated and expectant for the afternoon activity. Prior to lunch, the group also had the opportunity to visit the campus to get to know Altice Labs, which for them was very important given their interest in the company and everything related to projects in the areas of IoT, Smart Cities, Big Data and Analytics.

José Teodoro from the organization and Filip Vitkovski, student of the summer course, didn’t  want to finish the morning without thanking Altice Labs for the excellent visit and opportunity to see, on the spot, the work that is done in one of the largest companies in Portugal, mainly in the telecommunications area.

In the early afternoon, in the hackathon, and already organized into teams, the participants started to unleash their creativity where, using only symbols and a maximum of 7, they had to draw a phrase attributed to their team. In a more relaxed environment, the resolution of the challenge started by considering two possible profiles of people interested on that island (one inhabitant and one tourist) by using the empathy map (to better understand the pains and wishes of the personas in question) and brainstorming (to ensure a lot of ideas). All teams were supported by a mentor from Altice Labs, who helped maintain the work dynamics as well as clarify any questions that could arise.

To finish the challenge, and in order to identify the winner, the Hackathon Jury (Paulo Pereira, Pedro Carvalho and Fausto de Carvalho, all from the Technology and Innovation Strategy department) watched the pitch of each of the 5 teams.

While explaining their interpretation and possible solution to the challenge, the team members selected their top five ideas while answering questions from the Jury who, by way of feedback, contributed by choosing the top 3 ideas.

After all the pitches, the Jury met and, considering the ideas of all teams as well as their involvement in the work and their dynamics, identified a winning team as well as an honorable mention.

Before saying goodbye to Altice Labs, the students presented the hackathon organization with a group dance performance, presenting the BEST International dance, which was very dynamic and funny!

The results of this day will serve as a starting point for project ideas that will be shared with the Azores Regional Government, thus fostering the partnership expected to be maintained between Altice Labs and that governing body, given the presence of Altice Labs in S. Miguel and Terceira Island.

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