#EUvsVirus, the winning projects have been chosen. The awards ceremony online

Camilla Palla

On April 30, the awards ceremony that closed the #EUvsVirus hackathon was held. The initiative, which took place online from April 24-26, was promoted under the coordination of the European Commission and in collaboration with the European Council for Innovation.  The event, providing a common organisational and technical framework to collectively develop solutions in six key target areas, brought together civil society, innovators, partners and buyers from the 27 EU Member States, as well as from Norway, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine and the UK.

The awards ceremony took place live on Facebook on the EU Science & Innovation page of DG RTD. The ceremony was attended by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, who announced the winners of the six categories – health & life, business continuity, social and political cohesion, remote working & education, digital finance and other.

In three days, more than 2,150 solutions were presented, bringing together more than 22,000 people across teams of more than 141 different nationalities. The most active European countries were Germany, Italy and Spain, which presented the highest number of projects. The category with the highest number of proposals was Health & Life.

A special jury of over 400 judges met to decide the winners. A total of 117 winners were identified with 6 winners for each macro area, one winner for each of the challenges, plus two competitors for each challenge in an order based on the score obtained. The winners will have access to the opportunities offered by the EIC COVID platform, and the partners have also made € 110,000 available to be divided among the winning projects.

The evaluation took into account various criteria such as impact potential, technical complexity, innovativeness of the proposed solutions, the degree of completion of the prototype and any associated business plan.

The projects identified for each area have the common objective of providing innovative solutions in Covid emergency management. For the Health & Life sector, for example, the winning team presented a device that enables patient monitoring that minimises physical contact between nurse and patient. This not only reduces exposure to the risk of infection for medical staff, but also reduces the use of protective equipment, thus responding to the many cases of equipment shortages.

Another interesting example concerns the Business Continuity category. Based on the assumption that in the coming months businesses will start up again keeping more than ever in mind the principle of social distancing, the winning project has identified an integrated and easily implementable solution for an effective and rational management of the entire supply chain. In order to guarantee social distancing along the entire supply chain, the project has created a series of software that allows for quota control and access control on site, as well as the possibility of managing the influx remotely, so as to reduce any queues by booking online your place in the waiting line.

And furthermore, in the context of the Social and Political Cohesion area, the winning project involves a data platform that combines the needs of hospitals with suppliers and available funds, bridging the information gap between demand, supply and financing of medical equipment, obtained through donations.

All the winning projects have been published on the page specifically created by the European Commission. “This was only the beginning” – said Mariya Gabriel – “with the support of the European Innovation Council and all the partners involved in the Hackathon, we are waiting to turn these fantastic ideas into reality for the good of all European citizens”.

The next step for the selected teams is the participation in the Matchaton, which will take place from May 22-25 on the new EIC COVID platform that will be launched at the end of May. This online event will facilitate match-making with end users, primarily healthcare providers, and provide access to investors, companies, foundations and other funding opportunities from across the EU.


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