Space hackathon to solve Earth’s challenges

New global technology innovation hackathon, The Gravity Challenge, will have its first iteration in Adelaide in 2019.

Led by Amazon in partnership with Deloitte, the hackathon allows entrepreneurs, universities, government and businesses, to converge and experiment with Amazon Web Services and Deloitte space capabilities to find solutions to industrial, social, and environmental problems.

The event will allow members of Adelaide and Australia’s space sector to trial and test their thinking against global competitors.

Held during Space Week 2019, from September 30 to October 4, the Challenge will coincide with the 8th Space Forum and the 19th Australian Space Research Conference.

“The fact that South Australia will play host to this world-first event is a testament to our vibrant space sector and bolsters our position as a leader in the nation’s space endeavours,” said South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall.

The competitive yet collaborative framework of the hackathon format allows for cross-industry solution to emerge through one-off partnerships.

“The Gravity Challenge is an exciting opportunity to engage Australia’s brightest entrepreneurs, researchers and business leaders to work together on challenges across a wide range of industries using advanced satellite data,” said Marshall.

While space is the immediate focus of the competition, further applications could emerge in other sectors, according to Marshall.

“The Challenge will improve the way we exploit space technology and data to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of key sectors of our economy, including mining, defence, transport, logistics, health, telecommunications, tourism and agriculture.”

Deloitte’s Australian chief strategy & innovation officer, Rob Hillard, echoed these comments as to the expansive role of space in the modern economy.

“Industries like defence, mining, insurance and agriculture are facing increasingly difficult problems today. But a lot of companies don’t know that space data and solutions can be applied to almost any industry,” he said.

Applications and sponsorships are now open.