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Blue and Circular Economy Hackathon: Nurturing innovation for a sustainable future

In an effort to foster innovation and address pressing challenges related to the blue and circular economy, Odyssea, The Cube Athens, and Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation

joined hands to organise a three-day Blue and Circular Economy Hackathon. At a time where the world is recognising the importance of sustainable practices, this hackathon aimed to bring together bright minds and creative thinkers to explore solutions that marry technology and environmental consciousness.

The hackathon’s central themes revolved around the intersection of the blue economy, which encompasses sustainable use of ocean resources, and the circular economy, focusing on minimising waste and promoting recycling. The hackathon attracted a diverse group of participants, ranging from students, professionals, and entrepreneurs with a passion for environmental sustainability who were encouraged to explore innovative solutions. The mix of skills and perspectives created an environment for collaboration, cross-disciplinary problem-solving, and entrepreneurship.

More precisely, the event kicked off on Friday 29th of September with inspirational talks from industry experts. Maria Boile – Professor and Director of the MSc in Shipping of Piraeus University covered the topic of waterborne technology in the shipping industry while Angus Whiston – Communication Director at DeepSea highlighted the importance of AI technology for improved efficiency and reduced footprint. Once the talks were concluded, participants were given the opportunity to  form teams around their preferred ideas.

On the second day teams dove into the development phase. Our guest mentors, Anthony Milonas – Director of Technology at Programize, Angelos Ploumis – Co-Founder and Managing Director of Designature, Maria Petropoulou – Development Officer at The People’s Trust, Fotini Petrakli – Project Manager and Sustainability Analyst at IRES, Manos Koukouvios – Maritime Consultant and Digital Innovation Lead, and Christos C. Lytras – Managing Partner at Hippocampus.io ,provided guidance and support to the teams helping them to refine their prototypes while ensuring that they are aligned with the hackathon’s overarching goals.

On the final day, the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges comprised of Angeliki Kosmopoulou – Executive Director of the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, Alexis Komselis – Director of Alba Hub for Entrepreneurship and Development, Nikolas Karidis – Program Manager at The People’s Trust, who evaluated the  business ideas presented by the teams based on a set of criteria. The criteria included innovation, feasibility, and the potential social and environmental impact. The winning teams were awarded with the cash prize of 1.500 euros and 500 euros, respectively along with the chance of incubation.

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